On being a Grandmother and a Writer...
Many years ago, I decided I would venture back into education, beginning with an OU Foundation course. It went wrong from the start. As soon as I got my books out and proceeded to read – the very first page – the entire family gathered round the table to talk about their news and their day. In retrospect, I think using the kitchen table as my desk was asking for trouble. I now have two desks. One for my laptop, and one for the sewing machine. I was obviously not meant to work from the kitchen table, and just as well, as the kitchen is busier than ever, with many of my grandchildren here at some point in the day, on every weekday – and on the weekend, the four (including two year old twins) living a little further afield, here either all day Saturday or Sunday.
I told myself (once I had new glasses, and I could actually see properly again) that I must set myself a timetable, and get back to writing early in the morning – and late at night (‘free’ time) - but have failed miserably. My husband has retired – just going into the third year of retirement now. I haven’t – I keep working away on my little business(es) to earn the extra needed for being the grandmother I have always been, with a full larder, always able to whip up a meal for six or twelve, provide fruit, biscuits and drinks, and presents for all their birthdays and at Christmas. And host most of the birthday parties. We’re usually around 30 (12 of them being grandchildren). The £8-£10 royalties a month (when I’m lucky), don’t go very far.
If I had the resources, I’d give up the stationery business, and just write (and take proper part in writerly things on WA) and work on my textile items, in between family time. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have it any other way, family-wise. I have been very, very lucky -and I know I’ll never be lonely.
But speaking of lonely, I have seven almost finished novels/books feeling very lonely in their files, and notes for a further two. I need a PA, a typist, an editor, a publisher (since I still self-publish), a cleaner, cook, chauffeur - and a new laptop. This one is jumbling up my writing, and I keep having to go back to put it right.
So what writing lesson is there in all this? Hmm, perhaps work on one thing at a time? But what do you do when the muse bombards you with new ideas? You write, and then get overcome with guilt because another manuscript is lying there idle, and other things you should be doing, are not getting done. Blogs lie there, lacking new posts, my favourite writers’ site only gets the odd visit. And guilt becomes your companion. I’d like to show it the door, but I think perhaps I will be shown the door instead. Unless some kind soul waves a magic wand and gives me a 48 hour day. That would do nicely.
Meanwhile, keep writing, friends, and perhaps one day I will catch up.