Laura McHugh is a newly published author with a soon-t0-be best-seller “The Weight of Blood.” I am fascinated by debut authors, by their process, by their success. And I was lucky enough to go hear Ms. McHugh chat about all of this at my local library this week.
Hearing that she wrote at home with two young children really inspired me. She trained herself to be disciplined, to always have her computer with her and not wait for inspiration or time, to just write any free minute she had. She spent her daughter’s pre-school time at the library, typing away in their cafe, and stayed up all night after the kids went to bed. Her hard work paid off, because now she has a published book through Random House, it’s making all sorts of must-read lists, and she’s being paid to write another one.
I went to bed giddy with the possibilities of what I could accomplish, and the next morning I awoke with momentum to write and revise.
The kiddos allowed me to get some work done (thank you naps, snacks, iPad and Frozen), but only enough until the guilt crept up and I realized it was a beautiful day and we should be spending our time outdoors. Since our backyard isn’t a very friendly one at the moment, I hauled them to the park for an hour.
Upon arriving home, I texted my husband whining about how it’s hard to find the right balance, when the scale is always tipping in favor of my children (as it should be). But how long can it tip before I start getting resentful, burned out, or just give up on my creative projects (because that’s what they feel like right now, just projects, not employment)? It feels like a ridiculous question to ask, but still it’s there in the back of my mind.
The goal I’ve set for myself is that this next year and a half, I do as much as I can manage, creatively. I write as much, I draw and paint, I journal, I exercise. I wake up early and stay up late if needed. Then when my oldest is in elementary school and my youngest is still in pre-school, I’ll have the luxury to devote more uninterrupted time toward my creative ‘career.’
I’m really excited!