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Time To Write

Summer’s end and the earth is shifting away from the sun. Gorgeous sunset last night down by the river. I didn’t even want to read, just watched the glow off the water for more than an hour, the gentle lap of the waves. I was relieved to be away from the computer for a while.

With the start of term, I have a lot to do and I am juggling. A new piece of fiction surfaced as I was traveling and I am working on a newspaper article. My agent has decided she is not interested in handling the revised murder mystery so I have to leave time to market that, tedious work. Resting the mind and the body in the midst of a hectic city life is essential. I’m always in search of quiet spaces and stretches of uninterrupted time to write and in this I’m not alone. Every serious writer I know has the same challenge. And so do my students as they begin my workshop.

I do admit I am slightly envious of writers who have (generic) wives and/or servants, live deep in the country, wake to the light, write all day, swim lunchtime laps in their spring -fed pond (heated in the winter of course) and are invited to sparkling literary salons every evening. These (mostly imaginary) writers never have to clean toilets or shop for groceries or make a living doing anything else but writing.

I have been a professional writer for many years, a working writer, and I still have to juggle. It makes the writing sweeter. It makes it real.

I used to laugh when a fiction writer cousin of mine—of the male gender—told me that he had to get out of the house to write, the kids were disturbing his concentration. Once a year he took off and went to Mexico for a few weeks leaving his professor wife behind to tend the house, the kids, and her own career. That was then, this is now. Times have changed but the imperatives of the writing life have not.

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