What Balance? – DIY MFA Question of the Week 3

Our intrepid word nerd leader, Gabriela, asked this question today:

Tell a story about a time when you had to honor your reality.

The behind-the-scenes here is that life (often) intervenes in our writing schedules. Here’s an example:Leave us go back to … wait. This is happening now, live and in person.Life has presently intervened in my writing, but I can take you on a quick memory lane trip. A few years back, my full-time work contract ended. I was struggling to make sense of why I wasn’t picked up for any of the other contracts I applied for and sank into the doldrums behind it. Soon enough, my ‘don’t care anymore … I know when I’m not wanted’ attitude kicked in and I embraced my new-found, untethered life. I could come and go as I pleased. I could spend more time as Mom (I hadn’t been able to do that for the entire 18 years — at that point — of my son’s life). I could stay in my jammies all day if I chose. I could spend all day with my Christopher and watch anime.I did some of those things but also re-engaged in my writing. I wrote After and got it published. I started a zillion few other projects.However, the bill collectors eventually came calling and it was imperative that I got some sort of work. I was tainted and didn’t want to go back on the commute-and-be-away-from-the-cave wheel again. Ding! How about I engage that post-doc certificate I earned and get online work!And the rest as they say is history.My Christopher became increasingly ill and needed my help. I was here. I was also able to work. However, my writing only happened in fits and spurts. Since he entered Heaven in February, I’ve written about 200 words outside of prompt responses and random blog posts. I have been working away, cleaning house, and trying to find a space of equilibrium without the other half of my heart.My Christopher was, as he proclaimed often, my biggest fan. He was always so proud when I finished something. I know he’ll want me to get back to it, but to be honest, I’m just not ready. I am enjoying my work (which involves assessing academic writing as one part) and while I think about writing (as in, where my stories will go next), I am quite content completing the occasional flash fiction prompt. It keeps my fiction brain satisfied while my academic brain continues working overtime, which is necessary right now. I think I am more perturbed at not having enough time (or alloting enough time) to finish reimaging the computer in my family room, which means the tech geek in me is very unsatisfied …How do you balance your desire to write and the needs of your universe?

4 thoughts on “What Balance? – DIY MFA Question of the Week 3

  1. Aww man, let me count the ways! When I retired six years ago, I thought my days would be filled with endless writing. Instead, I became instantly available for babysitting, “can you drive me to school, it’s raining,” (granddaughter) “Lyn, I need big favour, you take me shopping?” (neighbour sometimes 3 times a week), “Can you look after the animals (dog, cat, 2 birds, 10 fish) this week?” (daughter and SIL) You can’t really say, “No,” now can you.~sigh~ Maybe I need to find a cave somewhere 😉

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