Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Tortoise and the Hare

When you are obsessed with writing, the smallest conversation can spark new avenues of thought. I was driving around town with my 12 year old and she started talking about the Tortoise and the Hare. She watched some cartoon or something and it made her think about how we miss so much when we move too fast.
Photo from Google Images
"Mom, I want to be more like the Tortoise because he took his time and enjoyed the race."

I think that is a great idea. The Tortoise still made it to the end, and was happy with his performance when he reached it. The Hare on the other end had many regrets when he reached the finish line and  missed out on some beautiful scenery.

What does this have to do with me and my writing? Everything. I've been thinking a lot about how my characters consume my time and thought processes. They are ever present, whispering to me, sometimes screaming for my attention. I love them, I love them all, but what about the real flesh and blood people in my life? What is left for them when a day of writing and reading have drained me?

I have responsibilities, other hobbies that have fallen to the wayside. I've talked about searching for the balance before, and I still haven't found it. Part of me decided that I would put 90% of my daily work time into revisions thinking that would help me get finished. And by finished, I mean FINISHED. My final stamp that says, "I've done all I can do and I am satisfied with the result." (I am hoping that really can happen.) However, the race to revise as quickly as possible has put me to sleep.

In this sleepy state, I've realized that while racing around to finish this round of revisions, I've missed out on many moments with my children, husband and friends that I will never recover. Luckily for me, they are all understanding and supportive, but that doesn't make it fair. What happened to me? I wasn't always so one track minded.

A writing friend made this comment to me last week:
I have such a hard time not letting my stories take over everything else in my life, I need to back off and remember that writing is supposed to supplement my life and not become my life.
She wondered if that made sense to me and I felt like she had plucked the thought out of my brain. My characters are taking over my life, and I need to remember that my first and most important job/career/calling in this life is to be the best mother that I can. My children need me to focus on them when they are at home.

Here are my questions for you: Do your stories take over your life? How do you put them to sleep? For those who have completed and published your novels, When it is FINISHED do you get your life back? Even if for a short time?

In an effort to find better mom/writer balance, I'm happy to say I wrote all three post for this week over the weekend. I scheduled them to post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I could concentrate on my kids and spring break and still keep my blog presence active. I'll let you know how it worked when I come back next week.