Friday, July 31, 2009

Juggle and Balance

Sounds like what someone working in a circus would hear. Well, would you believe me if I told you the life of a writer often resembles a circus?

T.J. talked of bonbons, Diana about her corrupt file (poor thing, heart and support go out to her). I'm gonna talk about the need to balance.

Yes, it's easy to strive for this equilibrium when your life and everything in it is ho-hum. You take the kids to school, make their food and snacks, help with the homework, play those mind-numbing games you wonder why kids like. You welcome the man home. You shower TLC on him (and hopefully he returns some back!). You sit and chat over a cup of coffee while the kids are killing themselves in their room (but that's not your problem currently since you're in couple's time). You sit down and grab a book to read before going to bed, or you turn on the TV and plonk down in front of whatever soapie is airing, wondering how this woman was chasing this guy nine months ago when you last caught this show and how she still hasn't got him even now. Oh no wait, she got him and then she left him for someone else, and now she realises she shouldn't have left him int he first place, and yada yada to make mush out of the remaining brain you still had.

So all this is fine on most days. Somewhere in there, you open that Word doc and stare at the words, asking this woman featured there, uh where did we meet...? And you go, oh yeah, you're the gal who's hooked onto that hunk of a fella, but he isn't looking at you, right? You want me to hitch you together. And that's where you also go, pray tell me how on earth I'll do that!!!

And then there are the days when nothing else exists, nothing but this story inside you that you desperately need to write. Forget chores and welcome a whole family of dust bunnies in your house. There's so much laundry to do you can simply tip the baskets over and have great free-form furniture. And last you checked, no one died from a diet of instant noodles and carbonated drinks.

Yes, this is what you want to do when the writing bug bites you, and I know what I'm talking about, because I'm in this very predicament! There's this story screaming to get out, and I mean screaming, as in yelling, screeching, hollering, using one of those sound-magnifying things the police use to call to a hostage taker.

How do you fit life in there?

I find it's not easy to do, but do it I need, since like T.J. said, life is not a dress rehearsal. What happens to your kid now is not gonna happen again the same way after you finish penning this story down. The hug and cuddle he wants to give you sounds like a break you don't need from your keyboard, but this may just be what will take this child through another hour with you zoning out in writer land. You think you got your man? Yeah, you do - that's your ring on his finger, innit? Well, get this - a ring is not fixed onto his finger, just like you're not the only woman in the world (well, maybe you're the only woman who will take him with all his pig headedness and lousy bathroom habits and strange food eating ways, but you wanna risk that?) What happens if after you've penned this story, who may not be a masterpiece even, you look around and find that there's a stranger in the house with you? The worst thing is, it's not him the stranger, it's you, because you retired into your world and lost touch with the reality he's been living in.

Want to try to rekindle everything then? Fine, go ahead. If there is anything to rekindle. Cold ashes do not blaze back to life.

So whenever the writing bug bites, you'll feel kinda weird. You want to write, write, write. But remember that you also have to juggle and balance, because unfortunately for us writers, there is also the real world out there and it won't stop existing because we will it to.

Have you ever been bitten by this bug? If yes, what did you do to retain the equilibrium in your life?

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural Romantic Fiction, With a Twist
Coming out October 2 - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - The Promise of Fulfilment
Coming out in January 8, 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander Publishing

Aasiyah Qamar/Nolwynn Ardennes - Romance the world over


Chicki said...

Hubby loves it when I'm writing, because I'm not bothering him ...

Since I don't have any kids at home, my house is empty all day, but when I'm really on a roll with my writing what goes by the wayside is the house. We have a dust problem to begin with, so when it gets bad, the furniture looks like it's been in a blizzard! Also those are the times I might have three laundry baskets overflowing with rough dry clothes sitting on the floor in the bedroom.

Do I look like I care?

Sandy said...

Z, this is a great topic. Also, this balancing act is one of the hardest things in the world to do.

The little stuff like fixing breakfast and meals is easy. It is when my hubby wants hours of my time, which takes me away from my writing that I start getting a bit hostile. Like, can't you see I'm working?

He'll say, "yeah, it looks like you're on email." And, I say, this is important. It has to do with promotions, or I've got to check to see if something important is here. lol The man wants me to write, but when it comes to anything else on the computer-nada.

Great post, Z. Sorry to rant.

J Hali said...

Thank goodness I only have cats to love and take care of and they are ok with my hours. LOL And they know I won't share my bon-bons!

My stress release is my sisters and girlfriends. Sometimes they just come in, tape my mouth shut and carry me away. (Where are they right now darn it!)

Loved the post.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Lol ladies.

Men, eh? What would we do without them? And what on earth do we do with them???

I'd swap the kids for cats anyday, Joann. At least until I want a hug and I know the kids will gladly give some, as opposed to capricious cats!