Saturday, September 10, 2005
Writing Versus Family: Creating A Balance
Gail's friend spent the afternoon in the house because her flat was being re-plastered and I did some work on poems for the Festival book. I still need to get these all down, but I keep going back to the ones already written and tweaking them instead of getting "the clay blocks" of the others written.
Ian popped round later in the afternoon. As you can see from the photo below, my office has now been re-wired, plastered and an undercoat applied to the walls. This means I can now get back into it. I think Gail really wants my PC out of the kitchen and so I expect to be doing work on the room tomorrow.
The theme of writing versus family reared its head once more. Looking at myself honestly, I have to admit that if given half a chance I would write every day, all day, and not think about anything much else. But I have a wife and family and I don't want them feeling neglected. I don't think I've been giving all I can to them. It's a funny situation, but I find myself procrastinating about DIY - and using writing as the main excuse not to do anything.
Gail and I talked at length and the most significant thing she said is that she is proud of me. She said she is proud of my commitment to my writing and the passion I have for it, just so long as it doesn't intrude on family life more than it needs to. She's happy with me writing and following my dream, but I need to give more to the people who need me most. She's never said this before, and I took this as a major form of recognition as well as a blast of reality.
So we came to a compromise. I am going to make out a timetable; not one set in stone, but a guide as to when I will be able to write (guilt-free) and when I will give my time to DIY in the house. Doing things as a family has never been an issue - I love to get out and about and use everything I do as a source of writing insiration. Obviously things will happen to alter this timetable, but so long as I get to write at length and Gail is happy with the work I put into making the house nicer to live in, then hopefully, we will all be happy.
The first step towards this was going to TGI Friday's, although I had already booked this much earlier in the week. A great time was had; loads of great food and drink, and the desserts - well, you simply cannot beat the Cookie Madness!
When we came back we talked some more but the upshot is, particularly after yesterday, I am clearing the way for a career in writing and making people realise that I am now an unstoppable train of creative literary energy. Nothing, and I mean nothing will stop me becoming a full-time writer. I want it more than anything esle in the world and with Gail and my family's support I know I can do it.
Next stop, the GDR!
What a wonderful and inspirational post. You hear so much about writing/family/so conflicts, but rarely do you hear about a resolution as good as this one.
And this shows how important family support can be for writing.