(Following on from the previous post, a day in 1 minute)
I, am a writer.
I am, a writing writer.
I am a writer, I am.
Dressed the kids, took them to school, attended a school meeting, shopped for groceries, unpacked the groceries and sat in front of a blinking screen, I had 30 minutes to spare;
Uploaded new fragments of novel for a friend in Benin who is reading the latest draft;
Researched what potato chips cooked in a Kenyan slum alley might taste like (to no avail). Would they be masala, or plain, I wondered? Plain. Ate a chip, still could not get further than the bulky ‘salty potato-ness’.
Then…Cleaned the house of mess, drove to the airport, collected a car load of refugee donations, drove home and put them in my garage/warehouse;
Checked my email and researched the origins of far right wing party Casapound in Italy;
Then… Picked up the kids from school, brought the kids home, snack time and homework, took one kid to his friend’s house, cooked and served dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, sorted washing, picked up debris from the floor (dirty socks, a wet pair of swimming trunks, a drawer-full of sweaters, sleeves tied together, a school bag of books scattered across a room, a box of Barbies, tipped upside down);
Sat down to edit 4 pages, adding 3 words and removing 5, taking out a comma and putting it back in, 6 times;
Researched witchcraft in Rwanda for protection (and read an article about magic ‘medicine’ found on a championship goalpost where the Rwandese/ Ugandan national football match ended 1-0, leading to accusations of witchcraft);
Checked the blue peril (facebook) 5 times;
Checked my email, sent emails, responded to several messages;
Edited another page of writing (for the 40th time);
Debated whether to begin another fragment of novel, a missing piece of the structural puzzle… thoughts don’t count as writing, though one could make an argument they should… and sat down to write this blog post.
I am keenly aware that:
1) I have not done much editing/ new writing today;
2) When I edit my novels, I spend up to 6 hours each day but have little to show for it, nothing that a reader would notice. Worse, my publisher will take this book, my baby, and make changes, scrapping the hours spent into little balls of disregarded metaphors, adverbs and descriptive passages. I wonder, therefore, is all my literary fiddling worth it?
3) Housework and motherhood justify this existence, even though (2), the magical 6 hours, is the personal achievement of each day to which I aspire when I wake;
4) I will publish again, if only to know that the time spent researching, reading and writing over the past 16 months led to something more tangible than an invisible file measuring a paltry 43KB on my C Drive. I take comfort in knowing that in round 2, I am still ahead of myself in round 1. The Disobedient Wife took 4 years to write, 2 to publish. Luckily, hair grows back; thicker, stronger.
Only do it if you love it. This is a writer’s life.