Really. Everything.

“Many writers have to teach in order to put bread on the table. But I have no doubt teaching sucks away the creative juices and slows production. ‘Doomed proposition’ is too strong, but it’s hard, Jessica. Even when you have the time, it’s hard to find the old N-R-G.”
-Stephen King, interview in The Atlantic

One of the many things I admire about Stephen King is that he remembers what his life was like before he was successful, and he doesn’t sugar coat it.

Making time for writing is hard.  It is so hard.  It is hardest when the weekend comes, and the teaching is “done” for two days, so it feels like life should open up a bit and give me room for writing, but it doesn’t.  There is still so much, so much, so bloody awful much to do that by the time the doing is all done and the boy is asleep and the laptop is finally open, the old N-R-G is gone.

When I got my book contract, I was so happy – and I still am. Ecstatic. But I also sat down and looked hard at the pressing deadlines, and what they would mean when balanced against my teaching job and my son and the sundry daily responsibilities of being alive, and I wondered How on earth? My husband said, “I’ll do everything. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure that you can write.” And I admit that I thought, Really? Everything? 

Here are the things my husband did this weekend.

  • Grocery shopping
  • Took out the trash, recycling, and compost
  • Changed the cat litter
  • Swept the floors
  • Fixed the broken bed frame
  • Went to the hardware store for more planks to support the box spring
  • Put away every puzzle and toy in the house about five times
  • Cleaned the dishes
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Did the laundry
  • Bathed the boy
And here are the things I did this weekend:
  • Revised 60 pages
I’d be dead in the water without him. It really would be a doomed proposition. But I’m lucky enough to have someone by my side who thinks that what I’m doing matters, and who is willing to do everything else so that I can have this chance.

Thank you, honey. I love you. 


1 Comment

  1. I remember helping Kitty with her writing, typing her manuscripts, etc. And I suddenly realized the meaning of all those dedications I had ever read — “To my husband, without whom this book would not have been possible.”
    And I think of all the forgotten people to whom we all owe a debt of thanks for the masterpieces we enjoy — “Thank you, Austen family, Mrs. Dickens, etc!
    From Kent

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