I met with a friend for coffee one evening this past week. This is a rare occurrence for both of us, as we both have young kids to get fed, bathed and put to bed and by the time this is done, it’s usually 7:30 or eight.
But we carved out the time, which was really nice. Not only to spend some time talking about adult things, but also to discuss the time constraints involved with our lifestyles.
This woman has a full time, busy job, comes home, takes care of her kids and if she’s lucky, the work/mothering portion of her day ends around 9pm. Then she’s back up in the morning at 5:30am.
And she was berating herself for not writing as much as she would like to. My response was ‘when’. By the time her kids are in bed, she’s exhausted and has zero mental energy.
I have a slightly easier schedule than this woman, lunch hours, a couple more hours in the evening, which I waste watching of all things, American Idol. But I’ve sort of rearranged my life to free up these hours. Taken less challenging jobs, I don’t work overtime, and I have a really helpful husband. But not everyone has this luxury.
I know there are tons and tons of working women out there trying to find time to write, some successfully, usually at the expense of sleep, or relaxation time. Others less so, and maybe like this friend of mine, feel guilty at how little they get done. Her wording was ‘fraud’ to think of herself as a writer and to go to our local chapter meetings.
What makes it worse are the stories out there. Women with five kids and a full time job writing five books in two years, full time mothers writing four books a year. I bow to these woman, but man are they setting the bar high for the rest of us.
Hell, all I have to do is look at Molly. Who has written three books in the past year, as well as take care of her infant son full time.
These are amazing examples and while inspirational, can also make the rest of us mortals feel guilty.
That’s a lot of pressure on top of what is already a full day for so many women. Screw guilt. Do what you can, for the love of it, but ignore the stories of what everyone else accomplishes. I’m trying to, not always successfully.
This isn’t a free ride for everyone out there to surf the internet and not write(I’m lecturing myself at this point…must stop surfing the web…), but let’s cut ourselves some slack. We can’t be superwomen, it’s exhausting, mentally draining and how can we be creative when all we can think of is getting another hour of sleep?
Some excuses are valid.