today we continue on in our countdown of the best/worst things about being an aspiring author

#24:  feeling like we're neglecting the other parts of our lives vs. finally taking the time to do something we've always wanted to do

it's tough "fitting writing in" to an already full and busy life.  i'd thought about writing for a long time.  well, thought about is rather strong. the inkling to write always lingered in the back of my mind.  it wasn't until last fall that i sat down and started a novel.

what seemed like a full and busy life suddenly needed to squeeze in something new.  something that took a lot of time and energy.  i kind of became obsessed with the story and the characters and the new secret i kept.  because it was WAY too embarrassing to tell anyone i was writing a  novel in my "spare" time.

my kids are little.  two and four.  HUGE guilt accompanied my new need to write.  for the first few months it went fine.  they napped in the afternoon, and at the same time.  phew.  my house didn't get cleaned as much anymore, but it was a great quiet time to write.

then, my four year old stopped napping regularly.  then i found online writing forums.  then i started blogging (and emailing).  then my husband didn't see my "writing time" as being so productive.  then the guilt trips were no longer internal.  they came from somewhere other than my own mind and conscience.  so the guilt doubled.

at first, anyone i told (about my novel) thought it was amazing and wonderful that i was writing.  now that it's been a whole year...um, they ignore it, figure i've dropped the "hobby" or wonder why it's not being sold in a book store yet.

i'm still enjoying myself.  and i'm really happy i'm working toward a dream that i finally realized.  BUT, i keep thinking that it'll take me writing and publishing a book before the time i spend writing and "talking" to all of you will be justified and accepted by anyone in my "real" life.

until then.  i'll blog and write and critique and visit forums in the wee hours of the night/morning or when i'm "cooking" or "running".  :0)  i trust you'll keep my little secret?


  1. I hear you on the guilt, my 2 year old holds my hands so I cant type, he has tried all sorts of things to kill my laptop because he really does not like the attention it gets from me.
    We are the only ones who know why we write or blog, explaining it to other people can just be a waste of time cos nobody fully gets it. My hubs just chalks it up to one of my eccentricites and lets me be.

  2. Never give up Christy. Writing is a part of you. I understand your obligation to your family, but you have an obligation to yourself. It is part of you, just like your right arm. Family needs to understand. This takes time. I, too, have friends constantly badgering me what's happening with the book? No publisher yet! Why does it take so long? I cringe when I hear the questions. Then I smile and tell them I'm on a final edit, and I am querying for an agent. That keeps them at bay for at least a little while.

    If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. Even if you have to beat them across the head with your ms. So people respond to the personal touch.... lol


  3. Yes, I am rolling around to one year myself (which is like 3 days in publishing years), so it's hard not to feel defensive when people ask questions and I have nothing VISIBLE to show for that year. I've made tons of ground, mind you, but there is still no contract, no agent, no book on the shelves.

  4. Of course this topic comes up the day after I email christy 100 reasons why I love my laptop (hehe). (but there are 100 reasons! and it just got fixed and i'm so excited!)

    My 4yo probably doesn't remember a time before I wrote. That makes me want to reach my goal that much more - that he won't remember a time before I was "an author" - but it also makes me feel very, very guilty. Especially when I get a great idea and want to get it on "paper" (ie laptop) and he asks me to play Candyland and I say "In a minute" and it ends up being 3 days later. :(

    Joanne - your 2yo is very smart! My kids haven't thought of the hand thing yet.

    Michael - beat them with an ms is a really funny idea!!

    Julie - yes, that's the big problem isn't it? As if we don't have enough to worry about in the world of publishing, we feel the need to educate non-writers about it - and they really don't care (alas).

  5. The guilt is definitely troublesome. I feel you there. And I don't talk to my family or friends about it much for that whole "hobby" reason. Still embarrassing. But that passes, surely. Eventually. Right?? Ah well. Balance is all you can hope to find. And when you finally reach published status you can naner naner all of em!

  6. Ah yes, I know this one all too well. My horse if a bit out of shape and my husband is able to stretch the days between shaving without me noticing. But I've found ways to keep things in a semi-balance. Sometimes I do feel like a bad juggler though!

  7. Man, it's so true. I haven't really cleaned the house properly in AGES. I slid the START of my writing in smoothly--when my kids got to an age where first one, then the other wanted to stop reading at night, I stuck the writing in that slot and it worked well--but I give it more and more time, and the BLOGGING has added a bunch more (even steals from work, as... here I am...) and I do feel guilty--and hubby ALL THE TIME makes me feel even guiltier... But the truth is, I am a selfish only child and I like the writing best, so it wins.

  8. We always want to make time for everyone and everything!! (yeah, my time management sucks) Guilt is inevitable. I have an only child, so yeah. But, they'll get it. They'll love you anyhow. And if the bonus is publication - all the better! No worries - :)

  9. Oh I get that sometimes- my family and friends that know i'm writing a novel are like, "Oh so you're still writing the same one you told me about like, a year ago?" Erm..yeah. Now that I'm finished they all think I'll be published like, tomorrow. Sigh...only we know how hard it is ;p

  10. Joanna-My kids see me on my laptop and just want to watch "Mee Ming" (Lightning McQueen) or play Disney computer games or go to PBSkids.org

    Michael-that would mean I'd have to print out the MS...can I hit them with my laptop? (of course, after what erica's been through I don't think I could handle breaking it.)

    Julie- yeah. it'd be nice just to have that book to show people (and by people I mean my family) so I could lock myself in a room with a "real" excuse to write

    Erica-I'm so glad you are reunited with your laptop!

    Colene-Naner nanerring sounds like tons of fun. :0)someday we'll all do it!

    Heather-task juggling is very difficult. LOL about your husband. I'm pretty sure mine is still shaving...?

    Hart-LOL!! I'm an only, too. and, yes. blogging...so much time, yet sooo much fun!

    Donea-the guilt is improving, the time management..not so much. :0)

    Abby-exactly. at least we have each other.

    I think I said that yesterday, too. WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU PEOPLE???

    Thanks for all the comments. It's SO nice to know I'm not the only one! christy


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