Thursday, August 06, 2009

Writing in the Gaps

People who know me always ask, "When do you find time to write?" The honest answer lately is, "Whenever I can."

I'm like so many writers -- heck, so many PEOPLE -- these days, with way too much stuff to cram in the scant few hours between putting my feet on the floor and laying my head on the pillow at night. There's the kiddo, who needed school supplies and back-to-school clothes. There's the dayjob, with two crisis-mode, "I need 'em yesterday" back-to-back projects. There's the poor neglected hubby, who would love for me to actually converse with him rather than simply grunt, "Writing. Can't talk now." There's the fact that a family can't survive on anything less than actual food, and budgets don't really stretch to eating out a lot, even if I liked that sort of thing. And laundry. OMG, don't get me started on laundry.

And then there's the kiddo again, with insomnia brought to us by Wizards of Waverly Place's flirtation with Zombies and Vampires. (Yes, we should have exercised our parental authority and switched off the tube, but how were we supposed to know that the kiddo who was laughing while she watched it would turn into a blithering, "Mommy, the Zombie's LEG fell off while he was DANCING! His leg was GONE!!!!")

You hear writers talk all the time about writing at their children's practices or in the car pool lane or dictating chapters into a tape recorder. I admire them, but I can't do it. I have to have a block of time and quiet to write. I have to listen to my characters, and dadgummit, they whisper.

But a writer writes. If she doesn't, well, she's not a writer.

So last night, in desperation, cranky from being stretched in so many different directions with no writing time, I found a gap for writing. After she'd interrupted me with pleas about insomnia remedies (this is Day 2 after Wizards and Vampires and Zombies, and still she can't sleep) I grabbed my laptop and went into the kiddo's bedroom.

"You gonna work in here, Mommy?" she asked as I snuggled in beside her.

I started typing away. "I will as long as you go to sleep."

"Okay." She curled up beside me and started reading over my shoulder.

"Go to sleep."

"I will."


But by then, the only sounds were her little baby snores and my fingers, finally, blissfully, clicking away on my keyboard.

No comments: