Writers as Parents

On September 22nd, 2010, in response to John Scalzi’s post on the Science Fiction Writers of America website called:  “Writer and Parent?  Tips For Finding Your New Balance” I wrote the following:

“I have five sons and my wife and I both work full time. The economic situation being what it is here in Greece we are also both looking for extra private teaching lessons to do in whatever “spare” time we have. Though she works in the morning and I work in the afternoon and evening, so much needs to be done in such a complex household that there are long stretches during which I cannot write a thing. This does not mean that my calling as a writer is in question but that my creative energy must be temporarily channeled into other concerns – for example, helping teenagers with their multifarious problems, school and medical emergencies, and so on. In the past I would read about other writers doing their thousand words a day or five hundred or even two hundred and I would schedule myself likewise, and sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. Sometimes I would have only two or three hours a week free for literary pursuits, and then during those times too something would come up.  I have had to come to the realization that parenting is a creative endeavor as well and, since I am responsible for a number of people’s lives and welfare, I have to be willing to forsake the writing temporarily to be sure I am doing the best job I can at it. However, when I am given a block of time I go full speed ahead. I am a teacher and so don’t work during the summer. Two summers ago I did my thousand to thousand and a half words a day and wrote a novel. This past summer I put a push on and turned out a number of stories. Now work has started and writing time has constricted again. To sum up, the main thing I want to say to all you other parents out there is, don’t feel condemned or less of a writer than anyone else because you can’t devote the time to writing that other people can. You are no less a writer because of the time you have to devote to the lives of others in your care. I have to look at it this way or I get no peace of mind.”

Cut forward to early December 2010.  Why do I reprint this here?  Basically, it comes in the form of an apology in advance.  Life intervenes sometimes even in the best-laid plans, and I cannot guarantee that my posts here will be regular.  My family comes first, then the job which unfortunately I must continue with to keep food on the table and bills paid, then my fiction and creative non-fiction writing, and then this blog and other writing endeavors.  Entertainment and recreation are far lower on the list, seldom to be seen.  No matter.  And in saying this, I do not mean to minimize the importance of this blog, but only to prioritize.  I hope that the blog points you to the stories.  Try them.  You’ll like them.

That disclaimer out of the way, I want to emphasize that I will try to have two new posts a week, probably on Sunday or Monday and on Thursday or Friday.  But if I am not able to do so, have mercy.

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