Cause and Effect

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

56. How writing affects other areas of your life

Writing is something that I’ve always loved doing. Ever since I was in grade school I knew that I wanted to be a writer, even though at the time I didn’t really understand what that would entail. I chose to eventually study in the trades because I was looking for something with a reasonably foreseeable future and some level of financial stability. There was no way of knowing whether I’d ever be able to actually make a living off my writing, so I kept it as a hobby, and only in recent years did I start to contemplate the idea that I could still be a writer even with my chosen lifestyle. So I work, I spend time with my family, I deal with the same household nuisances and annoying errands that every adult deals with…and then I write.

Keeping writing in my life in this way definitely causes issues. If I want to write while I’m out West I have a very limited time frame to do it in, which makes my evenings rushed, and sometimes stressful as a result. Sometimes I even lose sleep as a result, which in turn affects the following day in a number of not-so-fun ways. Trying to write while on my days off requires me to juggle between baby, husband, chores, and the rest of the real world. Sometimes it will take me all day to write a blog post that would have taken me twenty minutes to write out West because every time I sit at the computer my daughter comes and grabs my hand and drags me over to where she’s playing or watching Sesame Street. I’ll go with her because she is absolutely more important, but it can get frustrating to pluck out a post one sentence at a time whenever I think she’s not paying attention for a few seconds.

I guess when I look at it, it seems less that my writing affects other aspects of my life and more that my life affects aspects of my writing. Writing is very important to me, more now that it ever has been in my life, but I simply can’t put it above certain other aspects of my life…I will never refuse to play with my daughter in order to finish a blog post faster, for instance. I know that there are lots of writers out there who dedicate themselves to it fully, sacrificing sleep, social lives, and family interaction, but that’s not for me. I love writing, and I will always treasure writing, but it is not the most important thing in my life, not by a long shot.

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