Friday, April 8, 2011

What Do You Give Up to Write?

As writers, we all know about making sacrifices. Some are easier to make than others. It's easy for me to skip vacuuming one day to score more writing time. Or to skip a television show if I'm really immersed in solving a plot problem.

Today I gave up on my plan to attend a writing conference because my youngest was asked to run in her first marathon on the same weekend. I don't have to be there at the finish line, but would I miss it? No way. She'll be there for me, cheering me on, the day I finally get a novel published.

It'd be easy for me to say that my family always comes first, ahead of my writing. But it doesn't. Sometimes I skip watching a family movie because I won't let go of my writing. Or I say "just a minute" and let it turn into an hour. I'm sure I sacrifice my health, every time I decide to sit at my computer instead of taking a brisk walk.

I guess my point today is that sometimes I need to stop and think about what I'm giving up for writing, whether I'm making a choice or giving in to an obsession.


  1. If I skip out on a movie with the kids, I don't consider that missing out on family time. I always exercise and go to lunch with friends or family if they ask. There are times I work when my kids are home but only because they are busy reading or playing. I always shut everything down if they want to play a game or something. Do they know I'm a writer though? yes.

  2. Thanks for your honesty in this post. I'll admit I let my obsession get the best of me at times and miss out on wonderful fun moments with the family or talks with my husband. I'm trying to be more diligent about putting writing away when my hubby gets home.
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  3. I give up sleep. Family first, writing second. So I was up till 2am last night and then up with the kids at 7. Soo tired. My daughter says I have cracks in my eyes.

  4. I think you're focused but not obsessed.

    That's tough decision about the writing conference, but I think you made the right decision. You want to be there for your daughter's FIRST marathon.

    It's all about balance and you seem to have a good grasp on monitoring yourself when your writing takes up too much.

    For me, the best thing I've given up was watching TV. I've gain SO much time.

    But friends and family? I play it by ear. You know when it's time to put the writing aside.

    Have a great weekend! :)

  5. That's an excellent point, remembering to ask yourself what you are giving up. Movies? no biggie. If the weather' bad, yeah, skip that walk. But I wouldn't miss my daughters's special events either. What I'm trying to figure out is how much I can skip their day to day chatter without losing sight of them. This is hard.

  6. Margo, you're right. It IS hard, and that's why I stop to question myself sometimes. I find that so much time passes while I'm immersed in my writing, and sometimes I need to stop and see what else I'm missing. Not that the writing itself isn't cool...

    Karen, I do like a little TV (some shows the girls and I watch together) but I only choose programs I really want to watch. And I never watch re-runs.

    Brooke, I definitely don't get as much sleep as I should. But there are nights when I go to bed at 9:30, I'm reading my book, and my eyes just close. So I figure it all evens out.

    Catherine, I think that's awesome. I think I'm going to see if my hubby wants to go on a "date" this weekend.

    Wow, Laura, you sound very disciplined. I find it hard to turn off my writing brain if I'm in the middle of something. But I definitely make time to do things with my girls.


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