On a recent bookstore jaunt, I found myself in the fantasy/sci fi section, waiting for Christopher to pick out a new Star Wars novel. A book on the end of the shelf where I was standing caught my eye. Dead to Me by Anton Strout. It was categorized as "urban fantasy," which is a sub-genre I hadn't actually heard of before, but the blurb on the back cover sounded intriguing, so I picked it up. (And paid for it. Really.)
I'm only about halfway through the book (not a commentary on the book, but on my limited reading time in the past few weeks...spinning has been taking up most of my free time), and I usually don't recommend books before I'm finished with them, nor authors I've not read before until I've finished one of their books, but I've got to give a shout out to this book and Mr. Strout. This book is so not what I was expecting...in a good way. Not so much the storyline itself, but the humor. I love the sense of humor with which Strout has endowed the characters. It was totally unexpected for me. Maybe it shouldn't have been, but it was.
I've been following Strout on Twitter lately, which is how I came upon the entry on his blog today that talks about something I know a lot of writers can relate to...the need to write around a day job. I've been fortunate to not have to juggle that in the traditional sense of a 9-5 job, but I distinctly recall from my freelancing days the struggle of balancing the SAHM thing, homeschooling my kids, and trying to make time to write.
After a fairly lengthy hiatus (about six years...wow...), the desire to writing again has been growing in me. (Fiction, that is...beyond my blog, I have no immediate plans to revisit non-fiction, and the thought of returning to the freelance world makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and whimper.)
So, what's holding me back? Well, aside from the usual writerly neuroses of little voices telling me I have nothing to write that anyone would ever want to publish, let alone read, I also hesitate because of the time factor. For me (and probably most writers, I'd guess), writing requires entering deeply into another world, and that isn't something that is always easy to do if you know you're not going to be able to stay for long. It would be like having 10 minutes to go to the beach and wanting to swim as far out into the ocean as you can, but knowing you won't have time enough to make it back to shore before the bus leaves.
There are a lot of important priorities in my life right now. My kids and homeschooling remain at the top. My dedication to kickboxing has become integral to getting myself healthy, and I won't be giving that up. Knitting and spinning provides the sanity break I need here and there throughout my days. So I ask myself...where does writing fit into all of that? Can I make the time to do it justice between the other priorities in my life right now, or will it turned out to be a half-assed effort, or will something else suffer? I'm not sure yet. And I probably won't be sure until I dive in and give it a try.
I know the bottom line answer, though...if writing is important enough to me, then I will make time for it. Simple as that. (Riiiiiight.)