Time Enough to Write

Courtesy of http://partyof5.livejournal.com/.


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.

Problems arose.

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?

Three reasons:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. Now …

    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.


7 thoughts on “Time Enough to Write

  1. Becca, you always write interesting and beautiful posts 🙂

    “If you truly love something you will make time for it.” Ahhhhh, yes, that’s so true, but, it’s also important to have time out, something that I struggle with 😉


    1. Vikki, thank you for the continued support as I try to manage my crazy writing and reading schedule! You are right. It is a struggle to take a time out. Thank goodness for Sundays! 🙂

  2. Hi,
    Thank you Rebecca. I have missed you. I usually receive your blog articles in my post and look forward to reading them on a Friday or Saturday morning. I had wondered where you were. You are so right. None of us are superman or super woman. I myself will be taking a much needed rest in October and will go to Italy for a week. Yes, I am looking forward to it, because my body is screaming for it. So take all the time you need to do whatever you have to do and to re-energize.
    I appreciated your honesty and openness in this post and the art of how you brought it across.

    1. Thank you so much for your support, Pat! I always enjoy reading your blog and comments. I know you will have a wonderful time in Italy! I hope you will blog about it and take some pictures! I am glad you appreciated honesty. I think a certain amount of honesty in writing is the only way we can learn from one another. We all bring something to the table. That is our learning knowledge, experience and life. Thank you again, Rebecca!

    1. You are right. Since I began my job and added a few hours with a small second job I do in addition to being a mom, I have not had as much time to write. I plan to change a few things in my schedule also. In the spring, when I worked a temporary job, I woke up early in the morning. I have not touched my book since August. But, I’m about to get back on the horse.

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