Dear Helen

I’ve been reading a book whose title makes me cringe but which I’ve enjoyed; “How to become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead” by Ariel Gore. She talks about how she was at her most productive when she had a small baby, even though she was a solo mother studying, working and fighting family court; she felt such a sense of urgency she had to write something everyday. Then when her daughter started school she wrote at a more leisurely pace from 9-1. Then when she met her partner and he moved in:

Nine A.M. to one P.M. But wouldn’t it be nicer to go out to breakfast than to write? Wouldn’t it be just as well to sit and talk? I’ll write nights, I decided, before I go to bed. Night: The sun sets, painting things orange. My daughter needs help with her homework. She needs to be tucked in, Kiss me good night, Mama. Tell me another story in the dark. At last she’s asleep. Or she’s not asleep and I leave her with instructions to count porcupines. From the dark of her room to the flickering light of the living room… there’s a trashy Lifetime movie on TV and we’ve got some cheap wine…I take out my contacts and change into my pyjamas, jot a few blurry lines across the top of a yellow legal pad. Should I get my glasses? No. Turn out the light, dear. You can write tomorrow,

And so it goes.

Yes, doesn’t that just sum it all up? It’s just so easy to let it all slide. Some days I have to force myself, other days I ignore everything because I must get it down on paper. Most importantly I have to be staunch about making time for ME. Not to let the day slip by doing the washing and cooking. Such are the perils of working from home – “Honey can you call the garage (library/lawnmower man/dentist/whatever) since you’re home…”

It’s one thing having some money and a room of one’s own; it’s another thing getting past all the daily distractions.

So here’s to heads down writing, then onto procrastinating about sending it off for publication – but that’s another post!

Love, Helen

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