Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm going to talk about sacrifice today. No, not the kind where you find a virgin and sacrifice her to appease the angry Gods so the harvest will be bountiful. I'm talking about the kind of sacrifice that I, as a writer, make in my life.

First - I gladly make the sacrifice and wouldn't have it any other way!

The sacrifice I'm talking about is . . . time, or, rather in this instance, social interaction with others.

There is only so much time in a day. I'm not one of the lucky ones that do not have to work for a living. I have to go to work, five days per week, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Okay, I normally go into work a bit earlier than that, but . . . My evenings, well, depending on the day of the week, my evenings are chaotic.

A normal evening:
  • Get home and give Squeaky (my whiny cat) a treat. She's on a diet and she's not happy, not at all, not at all!
  • Pay attention to the boyz (Jesse and James) - just a bit, not too much, because there's only so much time.
  • If Frank is awake, chat with him. If he's asleep - woo-hoo, a few minutes just for me! : )
  • Walk the boyz.
  • Cook dinner.
  • Eat dinner.
  • Clean up dinner.
  • Dry the dishes that Frank has washed and put them away.
  • Send Frank off to work.
  • Write!!!!
  • Bond with Jesse, James, and Squeaky.
  • Let the boyz out.
  • Go to bed!

This is my normal routine. Some nights, I don't have to cook dinner and I can start writing a bit earlier.

Second - I'm not complaining, not one bit.

So, this week, I received a phone call about subbing in a card group. I turned down the opportunity because . . . well, it would be time away from writing, in the evening, during the week, which is not something I want to do right now. The words are flowing on the new project and, well, I just want to write. I don't want to socialize - well, Friday nights are the exceptions, margaritas, and all that jazz - or do anything, except write.

So, for my writing, I sacrifice the social interaction, the chance to catch up with friends, acquaintances, play cards (which I love doing), try some new food (always good), and just get out of the house.

I think we all, as aspiring or otherwise writers, make such sacrifices and do so, for the most part, willingly.

We - day jobs, kids, families, pets, other obligations - don't have the leisure to do everything we want to do and still write as much as we, sometimes, want to write.

That doesn't mean that we (I) should turn down all invites during the week or on the weekend. Heck, if I didn't go out every now and then, where would I get great inspiration? It wouldn't happen. I just think that, when accepting or turning down invitations, we (I) really need to consider what we are sacrificing - social interaction, extra writing time - or whatever. There comes a time and place when we sacrifice too much and lose out in the process.

So, the rambling point of this post: consider carefully what you are and are not willing to sacrifice on this crazy path to publication, and beyond. Don't give up everything, because you might find, at the end of the road, that you have nothing!

This week, yeah, I turned down one chance at social interaction. I'm giving in to my passion to write, but I know, that next week, I might be willing to sacrifice some writing time for some social interaction. In the end, things happen when they are meant to happen, not when I want them to happen, and that without balance . . . well, someone ends up with their butt suddenly on the ground!!



Jen said...

I am the same way, I think you have decide what you are willing to sacrifice at the appropriate moment and time. I am the same as you and work a full time job, I do however have 3 1/2 hours alone in the evenings to give attention to my two cats and write before my husband gets home. However I have to choose to write or hang out with friends during that time, and this week it has been about learning and writing! Well worth it and don't regret a thing!

Great post!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Ok are upset with my topics and now you are talking about sacrificing virgins....

You totally deserve a toe jam comment for that.


There are many sacrifices that need to be made in order to be a writer. We just need to make sure we aren't sacrificing TOO much :)

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

I posted about this same stuff the other day.

All I have to say is...Now if we could just find away to do away with sleep...we would get so much more done.

Jonathon Arntson said...

It's important to remember that when you sacrifice too much of your life, it's actually your writing that ends up on the platform above the volcano.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, you are super busy! I think I knew this, it's just that I see you everywhere, so yeah. I totally get the fact of sacrifice. Time, TV shows, family, relationships. We have to prioritize. And sometimes sacrifice writing too.

Scott said...

Jen - agree. I grab what time I can, when I came, with more time normally available on the weekends. It's all a delicate balancing act. One false move, and that virgin falls into the volcano!

Marybeth - I'm no longer speaking to you! ; )

Sherry - I need my sleep. Boy, do I need my sleep. I have a cat, on a diet, that wakes me up at 2 AM!! Yeah, I suppose, since I'm up I could write for 30 minutes. But, you know what? It's not gonna happen! : )

Jonathan - great point.

Elana - what are you trying to say? I'm everywhere? : ) It's all to do with a delicate balancing act - comment here, facebook there, give the appearance of being everywhere! I really think as long as we accept that we can't do everything all of the time, and that, sometimes, our writing must take a backseat to living, then we are fine. It's when we can't do those things that the problems begin.


Tess said...

I have been working part time for the last 8 years but recently I told my friends the littlest fib and said "I'm increasing my hours at work". It's sort of true because I consider writing work - but for some reason, when I say that they leave me alone.

On the flip side, when I say 'I'm writing', they say "Awwww...come on, don't you love us anymore?" It's tough because they simply don't understand.

So, don't tell them that it's not perfectly true. I'm still only working the same 20 hours/week. The other 'working' time is here on the computer. It all counts, right?

HEY! my verification word is 'maturish'. Like, I'm not being very maturish by fibbing. Oh well...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This seems to be a popular topic lately. We must all be suffering from a work overload pandemic!

Your schedule is brutal. Hang in there and do what you can when you can. That's the most anyone can do. :-)

Ann Elle Altman said...

I give up socializing for writing but I don't think it's much of a sacrifice on my part. One thing I hate is having to chit chat with people who all same and do the sames things over and over.


Jemi Fraser said...

My life tends to be crazy busy too - it's not easy to squeeze in enough writing time because family & the paying job have to come first :)

cameron said...

Hey! Right now the family has the stomach flu going around. You left out sickness.

BTW, that is why there is nothing over at PPTP. Putting Pen To Paper will be back soon with regularly scheduled posts. See? I'm up at 4:00am. Someone woke me with these words, "mom, I'm sick. My stomach hurts." Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :(

Scott said...

Shannon – my schedule just depends on the day of the week. There are some evenings where I don’t cook dinner and I can hunker down in front of the computer and write, especially if Frank’s asleep.

Ann – socializing has always been a fine balancing act for me because, well, I could easily never leave the house as long as I have books to read and things to write. Still, all work and no play, makes Scotty a dull boy. I am the favorite child after all, and must have an energetic personality at times, so I socialize every now and then. : )

Jemi – I’m of the opinion that ten minutes of writing is just as good as 3 hours of writing. Yeah, I know, that sounds pretty lame, but it was the best rationalization I could come up with on the days when I just didn’t have time to write. After a while, the guilt goes away.

Cameron – who is this strange new visitor to my blog allegedly from Putting Pen to Paper??? Has Robyn changed her name in shame due to the crushing blow to her ego by the Dolphins inept, at best, season? Could it be? Hmmmmm . . . . If not . . . welcome! If so . . . you can try to fool me, but it’s not gonna happen. Hope the family, and you, are feeling better soon. Take care.

B.J. Anderson said...

Yes, sacrificing can get hard, and you are totally right about not sacrificing too much. Great post, Scott. One that is so important for every writer.

Suzette Saxton said...

Isn't time the ultimate sacrifice, always? Sometimes I have to make myself go out and do the social stuff (it's so much easier to stay home) but I am always glad that I did.

Shelli said...

i think we sacrifice something everyday.