Monday, November 8, 2010
What's at Stake? My Sanity...?
Perhaps it was foolish of me to set such a high goal: 3000 words by the end of the day.
It was Saturday, and I had the entire day to catch up on the writing time I missed the day before. I felt good.
Then an unexpected visitor…
A girl I had gone to high school with came home with my mother. I hadn’t seen her in a long time. She needed a place to stay. She has a one year old baby. The father of the baby had dumped her seven months ago and married another woman who already had four kids. This girl was still staying with them because she had nowhere else to go.
Until yesterday. He kicked her out. Didn’t even give her time to get her stuff. He’d have someone else bring it to her later.
She was still wearing an old faded pear of pink striped pajamas and a dirty-looking yellow sweatshirt. I rummaged awkwardly through my drawers and gave her some of my clothes to wear, and then she took a shower.
I’m selfish. I’ll gladly admit it. But it bothers me. It bothers me that my inclination, my need to write turns me into a hermit. Makes me not fully empathize with someone in need because I am missing out on “essential” writing time. Or maybe it was because my plans were not turning out the way I wanted.
I kept saying, “God, a person is more important than this book I’m trying to write by the end of November. A person is more important than completing a 3000 word count by the end of today.” I still didn’t feel any better.
I didn’t want to be rude and lock myself away in my room until I had written a sufficient amount. Besides, I was stuck in the story. I didn’t know where to go next.
I did try to write though. But the girl just sat on my bed and stared at me. I wrote a paragraph until I couldn’t do it anymore. With her watching me, every word I typed sounded stupid.
I felt torn up the whole day because I couldn’t write.
Instead, I talked to her. I made popcorn and hot chocolate and we watched a movie.
And the whole time, I wondered if writing was worth it, if it made me feel selfish and if it made me feel antisocial.
Yesterday, I was back at it. And today, here I am.
But the question I’m still asking myself is: Is it possible to balance the writing life with social life, family life, and working life without having a mental breakdown and making everyone around me question my sanity?