Friday, July 17, 2009


When things seemed to work out for the better if I didn't try and find a job for the summer until classes start up again in August, I was excited. I didn't view the summer as time off, but rather as an opportunity to dive deeply into something I've been wanting to do for several years now--write a novel.

I mean, I would have all this extra time, and I was sure the words would just roll onto the page for me. I have what I think is a great story, and after a few afternoons spent at Barnes & Noble, I had a pretty airtight outline by chapter laid out.

And then life happened.

It seemed that there was always something else I needed to be doing. On the weekends when my wife was at work and I was on daddy-duty, I tried writing after the kids were in bed. But the kids kept going to bed later and later, and I was too exhausted by the time the house was quiet to even think about being creative. I tried going to bed when the kids went down, and getting up an hour earlier to write. The first time I set my alarm to do so, the kids were up three times in the night, and I finally got to bed about 45 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. Se la vi.

But during the week, when my wife was off work, I was supposed to be spending time writing. But there were breakfasts, and lunches, and dinners to prepare. And things around the house to be fixed. And it really was much easier for my wife if I was here at naptime, and bedtime. I mean, I would appreciate the help on my nights, why wouldn't she? Then we went out of town for a week, and had to clean the house several times for company. Watched some friend's kids, and then... Well, you get the idea.


Good writers find a way around these obstacles with a variety of tricks. Finding time to write is a part of learning to be a good writer. Good writers write. On a regular basis. Great writers? It's a part of their life, like say, breathing. Or changing diapers.

With my summer quickly circling the drain, I planned for an all out offensive writing campaign. I planned a super low cost trip to visit my sister in Santa Fe. A week away from home. Seven glorious days to sit in coffee shops and just write. I planned meals--complete with cooking instructions for my wife. I got 10 days of groceries so she and the kids would be provided for. I arranged childcare for the weekend while my wife was at work. I arranged transportation for my oldest daughter to church for her New Christians class. I did everything I could possible do to make sure the trip would come off without a hitch.

And then I didn't get to go.

Money was too tight. It wasn't fair that I got a week away by myself and my wife didn't. It was going to be too much to ask my wife to single-handedly take care of all three kids by herself for a week. What ever the reason, I chose not to go.

It was probably the right decision.

My wife promised that I'd be able to write like I wanted, but here instead. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent most of the day at Barnes & Noble writing.

But Tuesday I wasn't in the groove. Words just wouldn't flow--every line was a tooth and nail battle. Wednesday was a much better day. Yesterday morning I got to go also, and made some revisions to my storyline. But then I had to be home to make sure my wife was able to nap during naptime since she was going back to work last night. But no worries, it was only until the babysitter for the weekend showed up.

Except that she never did.

She's coming on Saturday morning, but was too tired to come yesterday. She's got a softball game that she wants to watch tonight. So Saturday it is.

I knew that's what was going to happen.

So much for my Stay-cation.


  1. "It was a dark and stormy night..."

    Try to enjoy what remains of your break...for soon nursing school will once again be upon you!

  2. irg, I'm sorry. Very frustrating. Maybe you can write something about this :)