This is just a little article that I entered in a contest a few years ago. . . it didn't win. But, hey, rejection is all in a day's work for a writer. Anyway, this little ditty gets to be published here, because this is my blog, and on my blog. . . I always win. Ha, ha!
It’s 2:00 a.m. and you still can’t sleep. Yet again, great lines of dialogue are running through your head and you’ll never remember them in the morning if you don’t jot them down right NOW. You click on your bedside lamp for the umpteenth time, causing your husband to groan softly and roll away from the light—again. As you scribble down your mental treasures, you can’t help but wonder how you’ll possibly function the next day on what little sleep you’re likely to have.
Ah, the life of a writer. Glamorous eh? More like borderline psychotic. If only you could sleep-in the next day, but mothers don’t have that luxury. Even stay-at-home mothers, like me, have to pack lunches, send husbands off to work and get children ready for school, and in our home, school starts at 8:15 sharp with yours truly as the teacher for three children of varying ages.
No joke, we homeschool, so time is a very valuable commodity. While home- schooling has taught me the value of a schedule, writing has taught me the value of multitasking and making every minute count. Though my real children come first, it’s difficult to tear myself completely away from the world of my fictional imagination. So between laundry, dishes, and coherently answering the many questions two young boys and a teenage girl can come up with, my children have become accustomed to my mad scribbling and promises of undivided attention as soon as I get a great plot twist out of my head and onto paper. As a result, in the five-minute space between teaching fractions and phonics, my subconscious mind is fantasizing about the next inextricable predicament in which to throw my heroin. Between history and science, I may have ten minutes to decide on the perfect moment for said heroin to finally confess her undying devotion to “Joe Hero." Sometimes on a glorious school-free Saturday, if I’m really lucky, my wonderful husband will watch the kids so I can steal an hour or two conferring over new story ideas with my best girlfriend--who is also a writing mom--over a well deserved latte at our favorite java joint.
I don’t know if my time management technique would work for everyone, but taking a few moments here and there to write has allowed me to finish my first novel, the first three chapters of which are being perused by an agent as I write this essay. One thing I do know for sure is that writing is an inextinguishable passion that burns inside every writer—mother or not-- compelling us to pen and paper or our chosen writing apparatus. I can’t stop being a writer any more than I can stop being a mother. So…
It’s 2:00 a.m. I reach over to click my lamp on. My husband chuckles softly knowing that the light bulb is gone. Blast the man.