Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How much is too much writing time?

I’m sure you’re wondering what sane writer would ask such a question. Well, please bear with me for a few minutes. Unlike some of my writing colleagues, I have ample free time for tush-in-the-chair keyboarding. That sounds great, but, where does that leave my husband?

Recently, as sunset turned to twilight, my husband and I walked up and down our dead end street. I realized with a jolt that we rarely take these walks like we used to in past years. We’re stay-at-home empty nesters so spending time together should be a snap, right? Well, I’ve become a cave dweller, writing hour after hour, lost within my character’s lives, feverishly taking online workshops, or keeping abreast of the industry via the internet.

That evening as we passed by our neighbor’s houses I slipped my arm inside my husband’s and told him he’s a DH. Since he’s not into messaging or texting I explained the meaning. A dear husband. He laughed in that soft way I love, music to my ears. Then the quips began. Over the years we’ve developed a fun, word play game, setting our imaginations free. Whether traveling in another country and lost––as usual––or confounded by life’s inequities, we skew the situation with humor. That’s one thing I adore about my DH! One of us tosses out a crazy exaggeration or a weird, often off-kilter interpretation, and we’re off and running.

We came up with a several takes on DH, and I’ll share my favorite. My husband said DH means Disabled, as in stuck in his recliner chair all night waiting for me to deliver his sugar-free pudding with Cool Whip on top. My man loves attention and he gets little of it these days. Can you hear my guilt? It sometimes skyrockets, driving me into the kitchen to whip up a gourmet dinner. My husband walks in and gives me that special smile, his eyes lighting up in surprise and pleasure.

So, I wonder how much writing time is too much. My DH never complains about my long hours away from him in our home. He’s a rock of support. Tonight, I’ll leave my desk and we’ll stroll together, admiring sunset and sharing our ups and downs for the day. I know I’m not alone in my struggle to maintain an important relationship while pursuing my dreams. If you’ve found a good balance between the two, I’d like to hear from you.


Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi Sheila, I enjoyed your post. I usually write in the morning. The evenings belong to my DH. Although, sometimes, I just have to jot down a thought then follow through. DH doesn't complain, but he definitely pouts. :)

JACLYN said...

Hi Sheila,
Hm-m-m-m, Sounds like we are married to the same wonderful man. :-)

Isn't it great to have such support from our DH. Lou keeps asking me, with all this money he's putting out when is he going to see some coming in? LOL


Sheila Tenold said...

Dawn,sometimes I wish my husband would pout! They're do darned cute when they do that. I admire your dicipline using morning time only for writing. Maybe shutting down the PC at night would get me into the other room.

Sheila Tenold said...

Jacqlyn, my DH hasn't made a point about how much my writing career costs...yet. Since I published a short story this year and FINALLY got paid for my writing, he's fine with me attending the RWA Conference in Orlando. :)

Amy said...

An understanding husband is a blessing. I spend far too much time "away" with a job that runs to 60+ hours a week and then on top of that, writing in the evening. Wish I could find a better balance because I fear that the two areas that I'm neglecting, housekeeping and social things, are not good to miss.
Never thought I'd be a work-a-holic, but it's starting to look that way.

I definitely need a better balance, but there are only so many hours in the day.

Sheila Tenold said...

Amy, as stressed women all over the world say...If I only had a wife!
Jaclyn's blog yesterday identified our problem, we wear all the hats too well. As far as housekeeping is concerned, I rate important areas this way. #1 Food safety, #2 serve healthy food, #3 general sanitation. That's it. The rest can wait. Clutter is liveable.
Social activity is important for our own sanity.

Vonnie Davis said...

Your blog mirrored things at our house. My DH also enjoys being pampered and well fed. Since he, too, is a writer, he supports and encourages time spent at my craft. He is my cheerleader, only without the cute little skirt--knobby knees not withstanding. We carve out special moments from our fantasy lives to meet in reality, join hands and enjoy the world.

Joanne said...

Good for you, Sheila, for making more time for your DH. I spend way too much time writing, and have thought more and more that I am neglecting my family time because of it.