Text by Robin Hobb, famous english book author and mother, about the difficulty of writing her books while parenting.
This applies to every type of profession and hobbies, so I thought it would be a good idea to share it here.
Not long ago, I read a piece by a creative person who was also a parent. I can sum it up in three sentences. It's hard to be a parent and a creative person, because both are full time jobs. Toss a 9-5 job in there, and you have three jobs. The writer of the piece was giving up creative work to be a good parent.
I've been on that treadmill. My husband worked as a ship's engineer, on everything from fishing boats to NOAA vessels. He was gone, always for more than 6 months of the year, and often nine or ten. So while he was gone, I functioned as a single parent.
I know what it is like to get up at 6 AM to have kids ready for the bus by 7:30 and then to race to work. After work hurry home because the kids have already been home for a couple of hours, and did I remember to set the time on the crock-pot? The day speeds by with dinner and homework, baths and story time and the extended process of getting kids not only into beds but actually asleep. Then the hasty tidy up of the house, the packing of the school lunches, the setting out of the backpacks with the lunches and the binders and school books and the permission slip for the field trip with the five dollars attached to it . . . .
And then, that choice. Every night. Do I sit down and read a book, or watch television with the sound turned low?
Or do I go to work at the keyboard and write my book?
Every night, it's a tough choice. Every night, you choose to be a writer. And not just at night. During your break at work, you have your notebook out, eating your sandwich with your left hand and writing with your right. During soccer practice, while the other parents are chatting together, you are in your car, writing in that same notebook. Nowadays, maybe you write on your phone or a tablet instead of with a pen on paper in a spiral notebook. Lucky you! But you write. You choose to write.
You CAN do it. Maybe you don't have kids. Maybe you have a 12 hour shift, or even worse, maybe you have no job at all and you are scraping and doing odd jobs and whatever you can to hold body and soul together. Maybe you are taking care of elderly parents and working at minimum wage and still trying to be a writer or an artist.
Please don't give up.
Gather up all that blue collar angst, and the bit of dialogue you heard on the bus, and yes, the sense that the farm kid can rise to be king, and write that book.
Don't give up.