Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rachael Sacrifices a Lot

I sometimes tell myself I'm sacrificing a lot to live this writing life. I assume a tired, wan expression and say, "Oh, woe is me! I have so much to do! Chapters, revising, copyedits. How will I ever get it all done?" Then I lie back on my chaise and open my mouth, hoping a sympathetic house boy will come by and drop grapes into it.

But really, what the hell am I sacrificing because I'm a writer?

I'm not really sacrificing time. Yes, it does take a hell of a lot of time to write. You have to wash the dishes and clean the house first, naturally, and that takes time. You have to catch up on Twitter and Facebook and blogs before you write, and there's another significantly large time investment. Luckily, I count watching ANTM and the Amazing Race as "research into the human condition," so that's never wasted time.

I'm not sacrificing fitness, either. It's not easy to sit on one's own ass as many hours as I do, so I'm very careful about not getting over-much exercise. Too much could lead to a less-padded arse, and then where would my sitting-prowess be? My butt is what I sit on! It has to be comfortable for many hours in a row, as it is now! So nope, I'm fit as a fiddle for being a writer.

I'm not sacrificing relationships, either. After all, I have no kids, so no small, grubby hands pull on my writing sweater, demanding attention. My wife is the very epitome of patience, and when I see her next (hopefully within the next month or two), I'll tell her so. My friends are all content to say they have a friend who's a writer so they don't actually want to hang out with me, and my sisters, well, they're my SISTERS, so they already know me better than anyone else -- they don't need to see me.

(And the dogs don't need walks. Don't let anyone tell you different -- that's just a myth. They really only want to sleep all day, anyway. Lazy beasts. It's a good thing THEY don't write. They'd be horrible at it and would probably only bitch about the cats in every second chapter anyway.)

Someday, though, when I'm wildly successful, with a houseboy that drops not only grapes but truffles into my mouth as he skates past on his dust-mop shoes on his way to clean out the litter boxes, then perhaps I'll reclaim some time for myself. To go to the movies with friends. To play games at the dinner table with my wife. To take the dogs hiking in the hills. To read books just for fun. To nap.

Hang on a minute. You said what? What was that?

OH, YEAH. You're RIGHT! You're a GENIUS. I can do all of that now, as well as be a writer. Sacrifice, shmackrifice. I'm napping now. Let's meet for lunch tomorrow, shall we?


Sophie Littlefield said...

You know what? I have yet to meet the person who's really good at balance. I've met a few who have their training wheels off, but I think it's a life-long struggle. On the other hand, sometimes I think it's okay to be really out of balance for a while! If it feels like what you should be doing, if you're enjoying it, episodes of obsession and glorious excess aren't so terrible...

Juliet Blackwell said...

Yay! Take that nap, Rachael, you deserve it. And you're right, those dogs are lazy-bones anyway ;-) It's such fun being a writer, isn't it?

A. J. Larrieu said...

If I ever had sufficient time to everything I needed to do, I'm sure I would be bored. That's what I tell myself anyway. Great post!

Unknown said...

Lunch? Where? ;)

Jeri Hoag said...

I guess everything eventually gets done. I will try to keep all that balancing act in mind. Although walking my dog I get the best writing done in my head. Sam is my best writing partner along with my cat Lilly you keeps my laptop warm.