Monday, July 12, 2010

A Room, A Maid, A Cook, A Gardener, A Secretary, A . . . . .

image Virginia Woolf famously said a woman must have “a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” I’m blessed to have my own little study, a place I can go to think, plan and write. Virginia Woolf also said that a woman writer needs money. True. I would have more time to write if I had a maid, a cook and a gardener. But I just have to prioritize. Jesus told Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
The problem is deciding “what is better.” John Steinbeck said, “The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.” I haven’t quite gotten a grasp on the illusion that what I’m doing is “the most important thing in the world.” Many things intrude upon my time. Some things I have put in their place. For example, I’ve never been one to allow dirty dishes to pile up in my sink. (Flylady would have been proud of me.) Dishes had to be washed, dried and put away. Gradually, Carl and I started just washing the dishes and letting them air dry. Still not bad. But now I’m satisfied if I can cram all the dirty dishes in the sink. I’m okay with it as long as I don’t have them piled up on my counter. It’s a good thing I have an extra large sink. I used to mop my floors once a week. Let’s just say that’s off the agenda. Hence my remark on Facebook: Bad news--dishwasher door blew open while it was washing dishes and flooded the kitchen floor. Good news--the kitchen floor is now clean. Luckily Ray got me a Roomba a few years ago. I just have to get it out and turn it on to have my floors vacuumed. Great invention! But so many other things tug at my time. And some are top priority—such as spending time with my family. Somehow, though, I need to find more time.
The reason I’m agonizing over prioritizing is because I am thinking about going to a writer’s conference in September. I would love to have a polished manuscript in hand. My manuscripts are not diamonds in the rough. Instead, they are still in the carbon stage. I have about two months to whip something into shape. If I decide to go. Hmmm. . . . I wonder if Carl would be okay with eating TV dinners for the next two months?

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.