I admire the young wives who write while juggling a full-time job and managing a home. Throw in a couple of children, and I marvel that they get any writing done at all. But they do, and do it well.
A woman called me the other day and asked for some advice. She has retired and has no children at home. She thought she would have all the time in the world to write and was discouraged to find out it just wasn’t so.
In her case, she is caregiver to both her mother and husband. And both, since she is “retired,” think she has all the time in the world to do whatever they want her to do and whenever they want it done. When she does find a few minutes to write, she finds sharing the computer room is a distraction no matter how quiet her husband, who is also a writer, tries to be.
I thought of mothers with children and decided her case wasn’t so different. “You need to set boundaries,” I told her.
I asked when was her best time to write and she sounded like me when she said, “After my morning walk, cup of coffee, and reading the newspaper.” That’s my routine now that I have decided housework and correspondence can be put off until I have achieved my word count. (I wrote about this earlier, and yes, it is working.)
“So you tell them that the computer room is yours and no one is come in and disturb you from 10 a.m. until lunchtime,” I suggested. I wanted to tell her to get a laptop and find another space somewhere in the house if her husband objected to being banished for two hours. Maybe I will if, when I ask her how everything is going, she says he needs to work on his computer at the same time. It takes cooperation and compromise to set a writing schedule even when the other folks involved are grownups and not toddlers or teenagers.
I hope it works out for her because I think she has a story to tell.
And, I think her need to tell that story is strong enough that she will work out finding room and time.