Herbs vs writing

24 February 2012 / Leave a Comment
I'm looking at my basil and parsley that have wilted in the sun. Their leaves are so limp they are touching the unswept pavers. I really should go out there and water them and put some life back into them. Again I am torn between domesticity, keeping up the house, and writing. I've spent all morning making sure that I did enough, so that by the time it came to 1pm and my daughter was at kinder and my son was asleep I would get a solid two hours to write. So I hate those god damn herbs with their limp leaves crying out to me to save them. I don't want another thing to have to look after, another job to do, I want to write!

At the moment, this writing thing is like an addiction, like a craving for a cigarette, it's what I think about when I don't have anything else to think about and it's what I want to structure my day around. But gee it's hard, when I've got a 4 year old and a 20 month old and I also work two days a week. My writing hours at the moment are 1pm-3pm on a Monday and a Friday - when my daughter is at kinder and my son is asleep, 8pm-11pm on weeknights and maybe another hour on a Wednesday afternoon when I can put my daughter in front of the television for an hour.

The other day I was talking to a friend about the guilt that I feel about my writing. It's my daughter's last year at home, before she goes to school next year. And I was telling my friend that I feel so guilty when I put her in front of the TV for an hour on a Wednesday so that I can get some writing done and how it's so agonising, as what if my writing amounts to nothing and what if one day I really regret those hours that I put her in front of the TV when that could have been quality playtime together. And my friend said a wonderful thing to me, she said that the best things we can teach our children is by leading by example. And she explained to me, that by my daughter seeing me at my laptop writing, I was showing her how to be passionate about something, and how to have belief in myself and that was the greatest thing of all that I could teach her. Even greater than how to get knots out of Barbie's hair and how to role play pasta making with Play dough.....

Being an unpublished writer is a hard gig, because it could all be a waste of time, and am I missing out on some aspects of life, because of it?

Sometimes, I fantasise about dedicating my first book to me, myself and I and to all unpublished writers out there. Because it is only myself that sat at my laptop, day in, day out, writing away, believing that maybe one day, someone, somewhere, may like to read the words that I have written. It's my imagination alone and my drive to do this, it's not really supported by anyone else.

Sure my husband has now come to understand that by 8pm I want to be sitting at my desk researching or typing away, but he still resents the mashed potato squished on the highchair and the toys that are still scattered around the house and the dishes that may still be unwashed. And although he'll read bits and pieces of my work and give me constructive feedback now and again, my Von Honningsberg manuscript is still sitting on his bedside table open at page 31, where it has been for the last three months. And every time I see that manuscript at page 31 I am reminded that it is me alone that drives myself along this path and has this dream.

The washing machine has just beep, beep, beeped, I really should get that washing on the line so that it can dry by the end of the day. It's 2.14pm, I've got one hour before I have to pick daughter up from kinder. I've spent quite a bit of time on this blog entry, I'll have to get on to some other writing when I get back from putting out the washing. I'm just dreading going out to the clothesline and walking past those damn herbs.... can I really ignore them....


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