Tuesday, March 28, 2017


 This morning as I gave up my writing time to finally get the laundry situation under control, I thought about trade-offs. We all make them on a daily basis based on mood, preference, necessity. I regularly let my laundry pile up like Mt. Everest so I can steal away to my computer. Whether it's working on my WIP, reading for one of my critique partners, or sending out another query, the time must come from somewhere.

Life is full of trade-offs. After months and months in the query trenches, I started to think about all the things I've forgone. How much I've really invested. From the years of writing and revising to the months of querying, to all the things I have given up in the pursuit of this dream. Of course there have also been times I've put the dream on hold: when my children were younger and my desire to homeschool them won out. When my parents' health declined and my writing, in comparison, fell back into the category of a selfish pursuit. The trade-offs we make basically come down to perspective.

Last week I came closer than I ever have to thinking maybe all I've invested will come to nothing. Querying for long periods of time will do that to you, no matter how resilient you think you are. And yet, even on the days I give myself permission to give up this dream, I can't do it. The writing -- it feels essential. So I continue to make the trade-offs that allow me to do the work. I skipped grocery shopping today to get out a requested full and another handful of queries. And as long as dinner was in the crock pot, I pushed off the vacuuming for another few hours to ensure I got the next scene of my WIP written.

We devote ourselves to a writing project for years, all the while knowing that it may not succeed. So, yes, it feels good to complete household tasks: Laundry folded and put away? Check. Dinner simmering? Check. Especially when progress in the publishing world is so achingly slow. But maybe that's also why I'm okay with letting the dust gather a bit, or letting the waste baskets fill to the rim before emptying. It doesn’t all have to get done today. Tonight, I put aside my WIP to write this blog post, and tomorrow I'll start letting another mountain of laundry accumulate, because I’m still chasing that dream, one query at a time.

What do you most readily trade-off in pursuit of writing time?