Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Am I Doing Enough?

It's been a funny day today.  At about 11.30am I was thinking - or worrying - whether I should be doing something, and what I should be doing and if I'd forgotten to do something, and what was I going to do in my three hours, writing wise...?

You know that feeling that you've got to do something, but you don't know what it is? 

It was no busier than normal when you have a husband, two kids, and don't forget the cat (she needs feeding too!) in the equation.  It started with the usual run to school, then came  back and I did some housework  Actually liked entering my house and smelling the bathroom cleaner - how sad is that? 

Once I had the little man (I'm not a man, I'm a boy, mummy!) off to preschool, I got a whole three hours to myself.  I'd arranged with a friend to meet at Puxton Park - we both have membership so it means we can kill an hour after school and all it costs us is a coffee - because we have to have coffee!

I think that weight on mind thing was that I was worrying about tea, because I was going straight out after school.  So I got that prepared and out of the way.  We had stuffed marrow, Tana Ramsay style and I really liked it. Hubby grumbled but it's kinda tough or go hungry, I'm not cooking anything else, and we had marrow in our veggie box, so we're using it!  While preparing the dinner, (mince simmering and the marrows sliced and ready in greased oven dish)  I was taking photos, because I read an article about food writing in Writing Magazine... (Might be something I can use for an assignment).

Anyway, in my three hours, I did manage to do one of the exercises in the Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance, as I thought it my help with my hero in The Wedding Favour.  Then, I sat and read half of my next module for my Writer's Bureau coursework.  

It's amazing how those three hours fly.

Picked up kids and off we zoomed to Puxton, only to read a text message once I was there (always doing that), that my friend didn't feel well, so wouldn't be coming.  Good job I'd taken my Writing Magazine!  November's issue has already arrived and I haven't finished the last one - so I had an hour there, (call it writing related, too) finishing off October issue.

So now I'm off to read a chapter of my book, A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand, (which is writing related as you need to read plenty), then finish my coursework reading, then if I have time to spare will try and do some writing of some sort. 

Am I doing enough?  I really want this.  I really want to be a writer, and get published, but I still have to contend with the daily tasks of the house and kids - which don't get me wrong, I really don't mind!  Maybe that's what my 'weight' was today, this worry that I'm not doing enough.


  1. I love Kate walker's book. In fact, i NEED to re-read that one.

  2. Maybe you need to focus more. Try doing one assignment a month, and allocate specific times to do your coursework. In between, why not try to write, eg 1 non-fiction article/month, (and if you have time 1 short story). Really, its finding goals that you can achieve, and that fit into the rest of your life.

    I started writing when my kids were small, so I know how it can be sometimes!

    In the three hours you have, try and make some sort of time-table, then you will at least have an idea of what you want to achieve at the end of each session.

    Good luck, and don't forget, as your family grows up, you will find more time. The key now, I think is to try and enjoy all aspects of your life. (Remember, the writing will always be there)

  3. You are doing as much as you can right now, in this stage of your life.. so that is enough. I get frustrated that I just don't have enough hours in the day right now, as every spare hour when Erin is at preschool I am working, but I constantly remind myself that this time next year she will be at school and this time right now is really precious.

  4. Christine, I do try to do one assignment per month, though sometimes, with the research (magazines) it might take two. (I just took a break with the Mills and Boon competition) I don't tend to do any extra non-fiction articles other than those that are for my assignments, then I'll send them off to the chosen market. I am trying to do one short story a month though... and weekends will be for continuing with my novel.

    Yes, Kerry, I don't want to wish my time away with Kieran... this is true. It's just a case I wish I could give up the 'day' job (well more like weekend job really). It's the balance of doing what I enjoy and not neglecting the family!

  5. Hi Teresa,
    I can relate to your post very much. I seem to end up feeling guilty all the time - guilty I haven't done my coursework, guilty I haven't written enough, guilty I'm neglecting Daniel/James/Hubbie, haven't shaved my legs, cleaned the windows....... I too want very much to make writing my career, but I suspect this feeling of not doing enough won't go away even if we get published! It seems to be a case of achieving a balance - if you find how to do it please let me know! Mx

  6. Morton, I had to laugh at the 'haven't shaved my legs!' I'm a born worrier, and I think, maybe you are too. Deep down I know I'm doing all I can do. It's just trying to fit it all in. Read books, magazines, newspapers (last two are for my coursework) write, write, write...

    Some days just vary, kids put a spanner in the works. For the first time in my life I've actually found something I really want to do, something I enjoy, and something that might even pay me (I'm not expecting to get rich or anything)... I was just having a worry day. Glad I'm not alone ;-)


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