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Writing Sacrifices December 9, 2009

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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Over the years, I’ve read several author interviews in which the author talked about bouncing a baby on one knee while composing a novel on the computer. Recently, I read an interview in which an author said she had served her children popcorn for dinner in order to make deadline. Writing involves sacrifices, but these are the kinds of sacrifices I’ve never been comfortable making. When my children were small and counted on me for care and attention, they came before my writing. I probably could have been far more productive in those years had I taken more than nap time to write (or even taken every nap time), but I don’t regret  my choices. So, I don’t advise other writers to pay less attention to their children than their stories or to try to divide their attention between the two.

This came to mind this past week when I presented at two schools and signed at a bookstore. One of the schools and the bookstore were out of state, so I arranged these visits well in advance, for this past Friday and Saturday. After setting the visits, I learned my youngest child, a 10-year-old, had a Christmas program Friday evening. Next year he goes to middle school, so this would be his last Christmas program in elementary school. I hated to miss it. I couldn’t simply reschedule the bookstore signing because I was the featured author for a school’s book fair being held at the store. I talked with my 10-year-old son about it. He told me to keep my plans, saying he no longer enjoys taking part in the Christmas program and wouldn’t go if he didn’t have to either. I left town, and my husband videotaped the program, but I’m still sad about missing it. That’s a sacrifice for writing I made, but my son did too.

I’m more comfortable with the writing advice to “give up on a clean house.” I’ve always been a neatnik but have let some household chores slide to make time to write. My house is still clean, but it’s cluttered. A spotless house is something I’m willing to sacrifice.

My kids? Not so much.

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