You might have missed me.
Maybe you missed my words,
or maybe you didn’t.
I borrowed today’s title from one of my husband’s favorite books, Robert A. Heinlein‘s Time Enough for Love. While the 1970’s award-winning, Science Fiction book examines the life and loves of Lazarus Long—the oldest living man—the book caused me to consider an important point.
Heinlein writes about love’s importance through Lazarus Long.
But what about time enough to write?
If you work, have children, grandchildren or all of the above, sometimes writing takes a back seat. It becomes that university sweatshirt you wore to a football game in late October, and then you did not take it inside until April.
What happens between now and then? Is there a creativity killer?
Sometimes the creativity killer is bitter exhaustion.
Exhaustion: What’s That?
Writers and editors have talked about 2 or 3 a.m. work time when everything is quiet. They write or edit. Sleep becomes less of a necessity.
A former mentor once told me, “If you truly love something, you will make time for it.”
In a sense he is correct.
I found writing and editing time while I worked and attended college. The years 2006 to 2008 were when I did the bulk of my research.
I woke up early during April 2012 when I worked a temporary, full-time job to write and edit. I was on a good writing schedule.
My son was very sick.
I became sick.
My husband became sick.
Since our two-year-old began day school, I have learned what it means to be grateful for strong health.
Part of having health is rest. Without it, you cannot take care of all the responsibilities.
Okay, some people can, but they are superheroes on 5-hour energy drinks.
The Reality …
The reality is if you’re a writer with several responsibilities, you are still that strong writer. You still have the power. You do not lose it when you have vomit on your shirt, or you’re tired from a week of teaching and tutoring students.
How do I know?
- In 2009, I worked for a five-day-a-week newspaper. While I wrote articles every day, I stopped writing. No work progressed on my manuscript, Sons of the Edisto. Four months was the longest period within six years in which I did not touch the book. When I left journalism, I began writing again.
When the baby is born, you—as a mother or father—wonder if you are insane enough to do this again. At first, it is like the morning after a night of binge drinking. You say, “I’m never going to do this again.” You’re too ill or tried to write. Then you wake up and realize you have it good. Unlike drinking, there is nothing to replace the sweet-faced, playdoe maker in the crib.
Within two weeks of Charles’ birth, I was writing and reading again while he breastfed.
I took the last half of July off to spend with John and Charles after a few distressing changes in our lives. I took August off to adapt to a new job. In September, I have taken on more hours substitute teaching and tutoring. But, I know I will hop back on the bike. I will remember how to ride it without a problem.
If you’re in the same place, you will too.
By Rebecca T. Dickinson
Note: For more information about Sons of the Edisto, you are welcome to visit my other pages.