My Camille Kendall, Author Facebook status from May 16, 2017: “Right now, I need to clean bathrooms and mop floors in two different houses. Instead, I am writing. I call that a WIN.”
Believe it or not, the hardest thing in the world for me to do as a writer is WRITE. I feel like I need to check off all of the day’s household chores, homeschool assignments, meal preparation, and meaningful family interaction before I sit down at the computer. Other writers I talk to – especially mom writers – express the same frustration.
I want to make writing a priority – a real JOB, mind you – but writing often gets bumped down the ToDo chain by things I need to do to serve my family.
Serving my family is a good thing. It is a very good thing. I think maybe that is why it is so difficult to make writing more of a priority. When I have to choose – and I do have to choose, because, let’s be honest, there are only 24 hours in any given day – choosing to write over doing laundry or cooking dinner makes me feel like I am giving my family less than my best, like I am putting them in second place.
Here’s the weird thing. If I worked as a cashier at WalMart (been there, done that), you bet your knickers I’d show up to work my scheduled shift, even if it meant the laundry didn’t get folded or the kiddos had to fix themselves grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.
Unlike cashiering at WalMart, writing feels like an indulgence. I love to write, like I love dessert. I don’t eat dessert before dinner (usually). Neither should I write before I satisfy all the other demands on my time…right?
Except that, if I truly want to consider myself a writer, then writing is my JOB, even if it is so dang much fun that it feels like play. If writing is my job, then I need to show up for work, even if that means the laundry doesn’t get folded or the kids have to fix themselves grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.
When I posted the above status on Facebook, my daughter – who understands my struggle – commented: “Why can’t I like this 4,000 times?” Emily understood that I had just experienced a life-changing paradigm shift.
I had crossed a bridge.
I had journeyed from “I want to write, if I ever have time” – to – “I am going to write, NOW.”
Today, once again, my ToDo list tells me I need to mop floors and clean bathrooms.
But first, I must write.