Writing: things change

I’ve invited a few of my longtime writing friends over for lunch and an informal “novelcon” this week. We each bring pages to share, and we read and discuss them. We talk about what we’re working on and how the writing’s going. It’s low-key and casual. It’s a time to settle in and talk shop with old friends. A few times a year, we open it up to new people, but the temperatures are dipping, we’re gearing up for the holidays, and this feels like the right time to steal a moment to touch base, just the five of us.

When I was planning what I was going to make, my husband teased me. Each of us has some kind of a diet restriction these days. One of my friends keeps a Kosher kitchen now. She’s easy-going about it, but I don’t mix meat and milk and I never serve pork or shrimp. Another friend is gluten intolerant, so no wheat. I can’t eat milk or milk products. Ann can’t have acid, so no tomatoes. The only fruits she can eat are pears and blueberries. It makes menu planning interesting.

That’s not the only thing that’s changed for us over the years. We all thought that once our kids grew up, life would slow down. We’d have more time to write. It sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? But it hasn’t worked that way. Lately, I’ve had more time to write, but I’ve also gotten a lot more serious about it. And it feels like I can never get everything done in one day. I don’t work. I don’t have to leave the house, but my husband retired. We talk before I head back to my computer. We stop whatever we’re doing to eat lunch together. Some days, a kid stops in or calls. I’ve tried to add marketing to my daily agenda. I’m determined to read more. And I know how lucky I am to have all of these things to enjoy. So…I enjoy them:) And I work writing around them. My friends do the same. Two of them babysit for grandkids part of each week. One babysits full time and can’t get together with us anymore. Another’s husband loves to go on antique car, road trips. Another still works and can’t decide if she’ll retire.

I don’t know exactly what I expected when the last kid left and my friends and I all moved to the “next step” in life, but I didn’t get it right. I have a rocking chair, and it looks pretty, but I haven’t used it. Life’s filled up in new and different ways. How lucky is that! And that’s the great thing about Life. It just keeps surprising me. But I find time to squeeze writing in the mix. Hope you do too.

P.S. My agent liked the romance I sent her! She sent lots of notes, so I have plenty of rewrites, but they’re all do-able. That’s a relief.

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10 thoughts on “Writing: things change

  1. What a great post, and how lucky you are to have friends locally who are as invested in writing as you are. I can relate to the dietary restrictions that come with age (I’ve got several) and also not having enough hours in the day for writing. I still work full-time, but even if I didn’t, I know I would have plenty of other distractions clamoring for attention when I just want to sit in front of the keyboard and create.

    Congrats on news on the good news from your agent! 🙂

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    1. I am lucky that I have so many writer friends who live so close. Always someone to brainstorm with. Just being with them sparks ideas and energy. I don’t know how people who work full-time find time to write. I admire you. You must squeeze writing into any available space. You’re focused, and it shows. When you retire and fill in your time with other interests, I think that’s good. Keeping busy inspires fresh thoughts. I don’t know what my agent intends to do with the romance, but I love Lauren, so I don’t care:)

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  2. Your post gives me hope. I’m on the cusp of retirement and trying to fit writing into a full time teaching job. Some days I find success, others, not so much. The important thing is I don’t give up. Good luck on your rewrites and I wish you much success on the romance!

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    1. Retirement is wonderful!! And having the time to write is even better, but all of my friends–retired or not–have to MAKE time to write. Some are “weekend warriors.” They hit the keyboard for a couple of hours every Saturday and Sunday. Others live such busy lives, they snatch time to write. But it’s hard. I have to admit, I have the luxury of sitting down and writing every day, and I love it! It keeps the ideas percolating full-time. I hope when you retire, you have that joy. I understand about teaching. I taught for six years before I had my two girls. I came home from the classroom, brain dead. You give all of your energy to your students. And then, when you recharge, there are papers to grade and lesson plans to make. And I was just plain tired. But I hope you save enough energy to keep the writing spark alive. Good luck to you!

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