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bcinfrance
03-01-2006, 01:28 AM
I am an incipient freelance writer, married, mother of two, still working practically full-time. I am getting some good feedback on my blogs (specialized, objective stuff, not a big rant like what I am about to write) and want to work on them diligently because it's such a thrill but THE FAMILY IS SUCH A BARRIER! I CAN'T TAKE IT!Today to write for 50 minutes it took me:

-Over two hours of computer negotiating and waiting time

-One big fight with my husband because he wanted to mouth off for 45 minutes about local political issues during my precious 6am-7am writing time. I even stopped writing to listen to him while doing some more mindless stuff (putting on makeup, a bit of picking up the mess) in order to show him I AM AVAILABLE TO LISTEN and I got YELLED AT FOR NOT CARING ABOUT WHAT HE WAS SAYING because WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO TALK I WAS PUTTING ON MY MAKE-UP!!!!

-All of my energy because I also worked all day, took my kids to two doctors appointments, and went grocery shopping!

I know all the stuff about setting up office space, having a separate computer, etc. but I don't yet and all I want is some encouragement!!!!
Thanks a billion!!!!

trumancoyote
03-01-2006, 01:30 AM
You needs a room of your own, girl.

roach
03-01-2006, 01:39 AM
There was a similar discussion up on the Novels forum. It's really hard to get any writing done when you don't have any support. (*she types as the baby is laying in her crib refusing to nap*)

Some things you might try:

* If hubby starts talking politics, start talking writing. He might get the hint.

* Rather than negotiating make a rule: "From the hours of 6 am to 7 am I write. Don't presume I'm free for chatting, because I'm not." This will require that you actually write during this time. Doing anything else (make-up, etc.) could be seen as a sign that you aren't serious.

* Invest in some good headphones, the kind that cover your ears instead of earbuds. Turn up the music when people ignore your rule.

I hope you can get things resolved soon.

Maryn
03-01-2006, 01:45 AM
Nobody said it would be easy--but nobody ever warns us it's so damned hard, either, right?

You've come to the right place, bcinfrance. Any time, day or night, we're here to sympathize.

When the household is a bit more at peace, you and Mr. bcinfrance should have a talk about your need for time to yourself. It sounds as if he's not taking your writing seriously, which isn't new around here (where many significant others think of it as a cute little hobby) and feels that his need to vent about politics supersedes your right to do anything but be his receptive audience.

Stress to him that your goal is for paid writing, but that if you don't have regular, uninterrupted writing time, you may never get good enough, exposed enough, able to learn enough about markets, and all else paid gigs entail, to do it. Ask him for his genuine support in holding your writing time sacred.

Be prepared to accede to holding some time of his sacred, too. Just insist on fairness--a five-hour night out with friends means five mornings a week of uninterrupted writing time.

Other things that may be pertinent to the discussion are computer use, fair division of household chores, errands, and childcare, and all that other stuff couples have to work out unless one is a doormat.

Maryn, grateful for stretches of time

Tilly
03-01-2006, 01:57 AM
I haven't got anything to add to that, except :Hug2: and I hope things improve for you.

Unique
03-01-2006, 05:32 AM
-One big fight with my husband because he wanted to mouth off for 45 minutes about local political issues during my precious 6am-7am writing time. I even stopped writing to listen to him while doing some more mindless stuff (putting on makeup, a bit of picking up the mess) in order to show him I AM AVAILABLE TO LISTEN and I got YELLED AT FOR NOT CARING ABOUT WHAT HE WAS SAYING because WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO TALK I WAS PUTTING ON MY MAKE-UP!!!!

Thanks a billion!!!!


Why does he think your ears shut off while you're putting on make-up?

Mine never do. Is this one of those male/female multi-tasking issues?

You need to remind your husband that women can do a load of laundry, wash dishes, talk on the phone, and deal with a baby ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
(Just 'cuz he can't...sheesh)

Putting on make-up and listening at the same time - that's a snap.

Spirit_Fire
03-01-2006, 05:59 AM
I'm sure people have already been saying this, but this sort of problem seems to be common for writers. It can be so hard to get support and encouragement from family and friends. If you can get it, you're very lucky! It seems like everyone else always thinks of your writing as the lowest priority.

'Why are you on the computer? There are dirty dishes that need to be washed!' etc.

I've actually been thinking about dropping everything else to lowest priority. If I can't find time to write, then I'll do it when I'd normally be sleeping! Or I'll bring a notepad and pen to work and do it when I'm supposed to be working! I want to become a mad recluse, and ignore everything else (although I don't have kids!). If I haven't done my daily writing, then everything else can wait in line!

Vanessa
03-01-2006, 06:14 AM
I haven't got anything to add to that, except :Hug2: and I hope things improve for you.

Ditto here

eldragon
03-01-2006, 06:27 AM
I used to have a cartoon-like visual of myself as a new mother.

I would be standing at the sink, washing dishes with one hand, holding my nursing baby with the other hand (arm,) talking on the telephone with the phone propped on my shoulder, while my husband had intercouse with me from behind.


That's a bit vulgar, I know, but it's how I felt then, and how I feel now, too.

We women are wives, mothers, lovers, and laborer's. We do it all, all the time. There is no easy way to find the time to do things.

I recommend throwing a fit every so often. It works as a last resort.

Jean Marie
03-01-2006, 06:32 AM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/EmoteWha.gif

mdin
03-01-2006, 06:47 AM
I had to look up the word "incipient." You learn something new every day.

William Haskins
03-01-2006, 08:11 AM
jab sharpened pencils into your eyes and ears. it worked for me.

bcinfrance
03-01-2006, 02:34 PM
;) First, it looks like this should have gone into office party but it didn't feel like a party to me...

:) Second, I have to thank all of you (11 responses in less than 12 hours) who helped me feel better.

:D Third, on the same day that all of this happened, I got a nice breakthrough in my writing and this seemed to help the family to understand what was going on.

I'll try to get individual responses out to some of you but thanks so much again! :Hug2:

bcinfrance
www.franceprofonde.blogspot.com (http://www.franceprofonde.blogspot.com)
www.cuisinequotidienne.blogspot.com (http://www.cuisinequotidienne.blogspot.com)

Ken Schneider
03-01-2006, 03:54 PM
Set the gang down and say. "I give you people the majority of my time, but from now on, between 6p.m., and 7p.m. is my time. Do not bother me then, thank you."

oswann
03-01-2006, 05:13 PM
[QUOTE=eldragon]

We women are wives, mothers, lovers, and laborer's. We do it all, all the time. There is no easy way to find the time to do things.
QUOTE]


We men are husbands, fathers, lovers and laborers too. We, too, do it all the time.



Os.

kikazaru
03-01-2006, 05:15 PM
"I would be standing at the sink, washing dishes with one hand, holding my nursing baby with the other hand (arm,) talking on the telephone with the phone propped on my shoulder, while my husband had intercouse with me from behind."

Ok that just killed me! :roll:

There is some sort of multi-armed goddess whose name I cannot immediately recall, but I'm certain she came about because of some harrassed ancient wife and mother. "If only I had more hands..."

I'm glad you are feeling better bcinfrance. My family and domestic duties irritate the heck out of me, but then again they do give me material for my writing.

Roger J Carlson
03-01-2006, 05:45 PM
I got myself a laptop and I go to the restaurant every morning to write (6:30 to 7:30). For the price of a cup of coffee, I get office space and peace.

eldragon
03-01-2006, 05:59 PM
There is some sort of multi-armed goddess whose name I cannot immediately recall, but I'm certain she came about because of some harrassed ancient wife and mother. "If only I had more hands..."

I'm glad you are feeling better bcinfrance. My family and domestic duties irritate the heck out of me, but then again they do give me material for my writing.


Exactly. And as irritating as it is, we wouldn't have it any other way, if given the choice.

Pat~
03-01-2006, 06:14 PM
bcinfrance, I admire your determination. All excellent advice above, to which I can add nothing except to ask if there's any chance in your hectic schedule for carving out that hour for writing first thing in the day (while everyone else is still asleep)? That seems to be my only guaranteed 'alone' time. It also puts you in a position of having the rest of the day to add to it, if possible...but if the rest of the day is crazy, at least you know one writing hour was untouched by the craziness.

Maryn
03-01-2006, 06:37 PM
I got myself a laptop and I go to the restaurant every morning to write (6:30 to 7:30). For the price of a cup of coffee, I get office space and peace.Even replacing the laptop with a spiral notebook and a Ticonderoga Number 2 pencil, I think Roger's on to something here...

Maryn, not nearly that smart

Jean Marie
03-01-2006, 07:13 PM
bcinfrance, I wasn't reacting to your post!

I agree it's a priority for you to set aside time for yourself as a writer. Otherwise, how will you write?

Roger's got the best idea: leave the premises http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

Unique
03-01-2006, 07:23 PM
Exactly. And as irritating as it is, we wouldn't have it any other way, if given the choice.

Yes, we would. :D

1. my son would always appreciate what I cook for him.
2. my cats would stop chewing with their mouths open & messing up
the floor.
3. Rain would also play outside in pants that are already dirty instead of
putting on a clean pair to play in the dirt.
4. ...would also quit taking my tools out of the box & leaving them lying around.
5. ...would always remember to scrape the plate into the trash & rinse it before
.....leaving the area.
6. Give me a few...I'll be back with more.

bcinfrance
03-02-2006, 01:07 AM
Just a quick clarification on my post -- all this WAS happening from 6am-7am while everybody was supposed to be asleep! But hubby dear got up that morning at 6:15 am and the world had to stand still...

SeanDSchaffer
03-02-2006, 09:15 AM
I'd have to agree with Roger. The best way to get the privacy you need is to get away from the rest of the family during the writing time.

I read a book by Arthur Herzog which mentioned something to this effect. To just set a boundary and live up to it. It'll be hard to do, granted, but the writing is important, and if it's time to write, methinks hubby should wait until time to write is finished.

Maybe you could hang a sign on the door to the computer room that says 'Do Not Disturb' in big bold letters. It works most of the time for me--I have a couple neighbors who still knock regardless of the sign in front of their faces, but the majority respect it.

But I would definitely sit the family down and tell them first that "This is my writing time; you are to leave me alone while I'm writing."

It might sound rude or worse to the family, but eventually they'll understand and it'll become habit if you enforce it.


I hope this helps you out. Have a great rest-of-the-week.

ATP
03-02-2006, 11:23 AM
As a young boy, I still remember my mother complaining that she had no time for herself. Yet, upon reflection, she did - she was an avid reader, so must have had time for herself.


As to defining boundaries, my mother had one very good method. She trained us all at a very early age: as she was approaching that time of the month, and she was likely to "bite the head off of anyone within reach", she would but have to state "batten the hatches", and we kids would all slink off and out of her sight.
She got the privacy she wanted, no hassles and no rancour.

ATP

Unique
03-02-2006, 03:53 PM
I might have to give that one a whirl. I wonder if he'd believe it if I stretched it to 10 days. :D

ATP
03-02-2006, 07:54 PM
I might have to give that one a whirl. I wonder if he'd believe it if I stretched it to 10 days. :D

Are you referring to my mother's method in boundary negotiation, as some of you might call it? If so, she wasn't 'putting one over us'. From my perspective,there was some clear, sound and, I daresay quite honest communication in what she did.

I do hope that you are not suggesting that either my mother intended or you intend any manipulation. I realise that women can, and in some cases, do this in this context.

ATP

Sparhawk
03-03-2006, 09:35 PM
I got myself a laptop and I go to the restaurant every morning to write (6:30 to 7:30). For the price of a cup of coffee, I get office space and peace.

Roger, this is remarkably similar to what I do. bought a refurbished Gateway laptop and go to a local diner on the way home from work and write for about an hour to 90 minutes. I buy a few cups of coffee and write.

I used this diner (Madame's) in my first novel and gave away a few copies to the owner and waitresses. Because of this, they don't mind that I have a small tab. At home I'm never able to get on my desktop PC. My teenagers have taken it over. Instead of fighting a losing battle, I just bowed out gracefully and went this route.

Also, I invested in a memory stik. Often times I can knock out a few pages during lunch and then upload that version into the laptop.

But I think it's important to set the time aside to write as much as possible. I have two teenagers and a four year old so I totally understant the time constraints. JMO, for what it's worth.

Also, my wife understands how important writing is to me and she's realized that if I have the time to pen out a few pages I'm in better spirits and more receptive to doing other things once my ideas are in the computer. Try talking to your husband and letting him know you really need the time to work. I'm sure once he realizes that this is important to you, he'll give you the time you need.

bcinfrance
03-04-2006, 01:40 AM
Since the rant, we have had some talks about it. But we don't really have the same conception of time -- he seems to get very annoyed by time management "systems" and anything structured in time.

This too will pass -- and has. Thanks to all for the help and support.

dlcharles
03-05-2006, 08:16 PM
Have you considered the option of reversing your schedule? Is it possible to write after everyone goes to bed and the house is quiet for that precious hour?

LightShadow
03-06-2006, 07:13 AM
A writer finds time, and when a writer can't find time, he or she creates it. That is the wonderful thing about writing. Even when it seems impossible, when we can finally write it's like locating (some of you will recognize this) a patch of blue sky on a cloudy day. Listen, BCinFrance, I work in the construction industry, on a very limited schedule now due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis, am married, have a 21 year old and 15 year old in the house, my wife goes to school full-time at a University mostly at night, and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which is just now getting to the point that my fingers are starting to twist away from my thumbs. I must take half a dozen Aleve a day, and prescribed stuff, and when I do get time to write, my hands can handle about ten to fifteen minutes of straight typing at a time (then I have to break for half and hour to cool the fire down), meaning that I get a chance to write a couple of times on Sunday afternoons and Sunday evenings - or on rainy days while everyone is gone and I can't work. I'm not trying to be a topper, I am just saying that it is frustrating, especially when I also have to help my wife with her homework (instead of write like I want to), make dinner (she doesn't cook, but she's real good at warming things up), and help my daughter with her homework as I soak my hands in hot water, and that I understand. They don't understand. They will never understand. But when you get that chance to write, and a thing of beauty suddenly appears on the page that is so awesome you almost can't believe you wrote it, you realize it is all worth it, and someday you'll be able to create such magic as a professional writer everyday. someday the gray sky will always be blue. for now, we have to settle for that occasional patch of blue, and just lie under it and sigh with joy. Your family doesn't understand, and never will, but forgive them because they don't know what they don't know.

Lantern Jack
03-06-2006, 09:44 AM
Most people write out of loneliness. The cast of characters in their head keeps them company. People whose existence is wall-to-wall with warm bodies, claustrophobic with crazed caricaturizations, well, it's sometimes hard for us lit hermits to comprehend why these people would want to write at all. Our dream world is their life.

Don't lament it, savor it:e2grouphu

Shadow_Ferret
03-06-2006, 06:52 PM
dcinfrance,

I sympathize with you. I have the same problem. I get no alone time to write. I did get some Saturday when the wife and kids went to see their cousin play basketball, but otherwise I have to stay up late at night.

I generally average less than 5 hours of sleep a day to accomplish anything.

Saturday morning they all decided my bed was a gym to play with the dog on and I yelled at them to leave me alone, I'd like to sleep. My wife said, then don't spend all night on the computer.

Sheesh.

dlcharles
03-07-2006, 06:47 AM
LightShadow: If I might suggest a possibility? Have you considered Dragon Naturally Speaking? It takes some time to properly tune-up, but it is capable of a 95% type correct. I use it myself and learned early on to 'off-speak' certain words to avoid spell problems - i.e. wait, weight - I stress the gh in weight and the program recognizes, eliminating a mistake.