*Hangs head*  I am ashamed.

My last post was in August.  It happens I suppose.  Life catches up, holds onto you and refuses to let go.  It becomes a time of lurching from one emergency or situation to the next.  Either that or you find yourself at 5 o’clock, heading home and fighting traffic, and realize that if you could, you’d be Rip Van Wrinkle.  Sadly you can’t because you have to play the role of parent.  More than likely it is both.

My problem, and I’ll admit to it in text, is that I have this nasty habit of compartmentalizing, or at least trying to, my life into three categories.

1.  Worker Bee – I’m the Designer, Admin person, my boss short-term memory (she calls me her RAM), and over all miss fix-it.

2.  Mom and Wife – I can’t define this, it’s everything.  I used to separate the two (don’t know why), but in reality they are the same thing, a different title, but the only difference is the age difference between the little ones and the husband (Love ya, Dear!)

3.  Writer – Enough said.

Before I only had number 2 and 3, last year (around this time) I added the first one.  Part of the reason for this affliction of mine is that I often have difficulty seeing how one can bleed into the other.  There isn’t a place in compartment one (Worker Bee) to be a Mom/Wife, but I do find the tendency to have to write.  Recently wrote an article that I need to fly by my boss, so okay, I can be a writer at work.  It’s not creative writing in the way I like to do it, but it’s something right?

As a Mom/Wife, there isn’t room for number 3, but sometimes it does bleed into the first one especially when the kids are sick or that mysterious occurrence of Spring Break (Really?  We need a break for spring??  Who knew???).

Out of the three areas, being a writer tends to be influenced by the first two.  12:23 was inspired on my drive and subsequent parking at work.  Surrender, my newest short story that I’m working on, where I started my research for it came from a suggestion by my boss.  The Day the City Fell, a short story from a few years ago, was inspired by my daughter during a “What if” game.

I suppose, of the three, I feel that I’m more of a writer than either of the first two, with Mom/Wife being a close second.  In thinking about it, I’ve been a Writer for close to 20 years, a Wife for close to 15 years, a Mom for 9 years on Saturday (eek!), and a Worker Bee for only a year.  No wonder I identify as being a writer faster than I do everything else!

Typically, for me that is, it takes me at least a few years before it dawns on me that I can’t compartmentalize my life.  That’s what happened as mom/wife, by the time my daughter hit 2 1/2 and I was pregnant with my son I had accepted that mom and wife were the same thing.  That separating the two was not only a waste of time, but effort which I could barely afford to expend so I stopped.  As I get older I find the time it takes for the realization to set in and be accepted is shorter each time.

See with age comes wisdom!

Image representing Barnes & Noble as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase

It happened on Sunday.  Several days before I edited over 10,000 words.  I felt great about it!  Sunday rolls around and I’m faced with the potential of having 2 1/2 hours of time to edit some more.  In that time I managed only 500 words.  I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t think, and I certainly couldn’t make what I had better.

Crash and burn.

So I wandered around Barnes and Nobles.  As is inevitable, I find myself in the writing section.  I by-pass the books about character development, scene development, How to Write a novel in 30 days!  (Puh-lease!)   I was about to move on to the fiction area, knowing full well it’d depress me even more at the titles of all the new and upcoming artists that have graced the shelves when my eyes land on a book.

Writer with a Day Job, by Aine Greaney

Say what?!?  Can this be?  Is it possible?

Apparently, it is.  Yeah, I know, shocker right?  It makes sense though, I suppose.  We hear about it all the time and if you wanted you can find a host of books written by the working class.  I’m not talking about technical writing or non-fiction.  I mean fiction, stories that we read and enjoy.  Not Stephen King, certainly as writing is his day job (ohh, how we’d like to be him right?).

So I picked it up, and I started reading it.  I’m not done with it yet, maybe only a quarter of a way in, but I’ve already found it helping me as a writer.  In following the techniques and advice given I have managed to write, yes write, despite it being hectic at work, my daughter’s birthday this weekend, my husbands birthday last weekend.  I’ve managed to be a productive writer.  I found out that if I grab every minute I can that’s free for writing as opposed to waiting for that mysterious hour that I can leach out of my day, when it is added up at the end of the week I can have close to 14 or 15 hours of writing time.

The Passage of Time

Let me say that again:  14 to 15 hours of writing time a week!

How is this possible?  When you snatch 25 minutes here, 15 minutes there, add in the 5 minutes when on a break, the 10 minutes to drive to work, an extra ten for the drive back.  Add it all together, you’ve stolen more than a day worth of writing.

When I think about this fact, only one thought pops into my head:

“Why did it take me so damn long to figure it out???”


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