I was in chat yesterday with a few writer pals--you know who you are--and I commented on the guilt trip I had laid on the hubby this last weekend. Mind you, I didn't realize it was a guilt trip but he assures me it was.
Here's how the convo went:
Me (doing dishes) : You know, I can't wait until you look at me some day and say "the house is paid off so you can quit your job".
Hubby (turning on Sportscenter in Living Room) : Why's that?
Me: Because I really think if I had the time to actually write on a full-time basis, I'd get published. I've gotten some positive rejections, which means I'm almost there.
(Hubby understands this concept because I've explained it at least a hundred times).
Me: Did you hear me?
Hubby: Yeah, well, I plan on remortgaging the house. (Goes on to mutter something about taxes??)
Me: Well, you better remortgage it at a rate you can pay for it on a single income!
Hubby, ignoring me, turns up the television.
Yep, that's the end of that conversation.
So, I'm chatting with my writer pals about this conversation and the fact that it's taken me two years--yes, two--to write 10 chapters on the first draft of my latest novel. I'm moaning and whining about the time I've spent and that I've yet to invest into the project when someone comments on my schedule. It is pretty full. I work full-time, I'm a mom and wife, I take classes, and, on top of my hobbies, I try to write. Yep, I'm busy. No doubt about it.
Well, Wen Spencer refuses to cut me any slack. Good woman. Sometimes I need a swift kick in the ass to get me refocused.
She bought up things like everyday decisions. When she was working she had a scheduled time for her writing and she stuck to it. She made a choice to sit down and write instead of vegging out infront of the TV. She made a choice to forgo reading in order to add another few hundred (or thousand) words. Eventually the choice became habit and she found herself writing steadily, making progress, and accomplishing a goal.
Then she turned the tables on me. What kind of decisions have I been making? In truth, I shouldn't be whining about how long this novel is taking because I'm not dedicated to writing on a regular basis. I write when I can, when I wish, and often allow other pleasures to consume my free time.
So now it becomes a matter of deciding what's more important: reading or writing, watching tv or writing, scrapbooking or writing. My free-time is at a premium. My decisions impact my productivity. If getting published is my dream, which it is, doesn't it deserve to outrank mindless entertainment at least 5 nights out of 7? It should. It had better. If it doesn't and I never get published, I've no one to blame but myself.
So, Wen is right. I need to turn writing into a habit, not a hobby.