Whining writers are not interesting. Nobody wants to hear somebody who spends inordinate amounts of time alone making up stuff complaining how hard it is….blah, blah, blah…I get tired of myself sometimes. This is why I write fiction–I can pretend to be listening to somebody else.
Now, while it certainly is said that worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet or may never happen or won’t happen for a while in the future is a drain on a person’s energy and a huge waste of time, it is also true that worrying about the future helps pay the bills and puts food on the table. We’ve all heard the story of the grasshopper and the ants. Of course, perhaps the ants weren’t worrying about the future as much as doing something about it, but there had to be some concern before there was action.
Anyway, I worry that I simply can’t continue to function in a healthy way by losing so much sleep for my writing. I worry that when my son’s schedule changes, I will lose my afternoon time too. No. What I really worry about is that I will lose my writing time. My art time. My sanity time. Now, this is not a mom-blog. I read lots of good mom-blogs, but I don’t write one (except by default–I’m a mom and I blog) because I don’t write to become a better mother (though maybe I should). I’m selfish. I write to become a better writer. After all, if I fall into a black hole tomorrow, I’ll still be a mom, but if there are no pens and no notebooks, I won’t be a writer.
Don’t say I’ll be a writer because I’m one in my soul or wherever or anything of the kind. You’re not a mom unless there’s a kid; you’re not a writer unless there are words on the page. Feeling like you ought to be either of these things is not enough. My son will still exist if I’m crushed inside that black hole. My words won’t. If I’m a writer, I have to write, and to write, I shall have to make time. Ha! I can’t wait to pull that trick off–make time. What exactly does one need to do that? Hammer and nails or measuring cups and a mixing bowl?
When people ask me why I don’t want another child, I have a list of acceptable and truthful answers (although for some folks, there are no acceptable answers to this question). But the real, in-my-heart reason? I want to be a writer. I don’t want to lose more time to midnight feedings and diaper changes. I want to be a mom and to be a writer and the best way to do that–as Alice Walker once said–is to have one. Yes, I know many wonderful writers have more than one and they write–but you know it is just that much more difficult and I don’t want more difficult.
A fortune cookie recently told me, “Your judgment is a little off.” When was the last time you got a negative fortune? I couldn’t believe it, but now I can’t shake it. I stare at my novel and think–it is all a little off. I’m a little off. And the recent cover of The New Yorker doesn’t help. Okay, so people don’t want to listen to a writer whine, but hey, this is my blog and if I can’t whine here…what does a whine sound like in a black hole anyway?