I’m tired and I’m hungry. The flat needs cleaning. I’ve been at work all day, after a week of being sick. I have a host of other commitments I must see to. All of which means that, as usual, writing gets pushed to the bottom of the list.
I hate that this happens. I’m a better person when I write. I feel better. My temper is smoother, I’m happier and calmer. I sleep better. But everything else demands my time. Writing just waits for me to be free.
I have deadlines, but who expects a writer to meet deadlines? Douglas Adams said he loved them, he loved the whooshing sound they made as they rushed by. So missing a writing deadline won’t get me sacked. Not writing won’t make me ill (well, not physically), or make my friends groan when they see the state of my flat. No-one else is dependent on me to produce work (apart from this column). So when I miss a week it doesn’t affect anyone but me. Then a week becomes a fortnight, then a month…
I’d love to be writing right now. I would love to be settled in front of a manuscript that needs fixing. I know how to fix it. The new work is right there in my head. But I have to eat, the laundry needs doing, I have to pay bills. And then tomorrow too is full of tasks.
Virginia Woolf says a woman who wishes to write needed an independent income and a room of her own. I’d add to that someone to cook and clean and shop. And perhaps the ability to say ‘no’ when you know you ought to say yes.
In the meantime, I’ve earmarked a weekend when I have nothing planned and will plan nothing. Only disaster could stop me writing that weekend. I’ll have to wait and see….