I’m not sure that idealized image of The Writer going off to a peaceful cabin and JUST writing exists. I think I’m about as close as one can get to that situation right now in rural Missouri, working on the middle portion of Laying Lincoln Down, and I’m realizing that there simply is no neglecting the other aspects of life.
At first, I was a little bummed about having to schedule a weekly trip to the library to catch up on correspondence (and inevitably have two or three unanticipated emails that end up taking an hour to respond to). “I came to the country to get away from all this and JUST write, damn it.” Well, that just ain’t the way it works these days. If you want to live and have a career in this world, you have to stay connected. And, after knocking off the laments of a techno-phobe and realizing that every writer has a life they have to make time for, I see that these other roles I have to assume are necessary, for me personally and me as a writer.
One of the roles that has been taking a good deal of my time lately is “project manager” of the graphic novel edition of Laying Lincoln Down: 1861. At first, it was hard to not feel anxious about giving up a morning or afternoon writing session to fill out forms, make phone calls, or write emails. But, this project is an important part of my career, too, and proactive time must be dedicated to it.
The primary realization I’ve had during this first half of summer is that being a writer entails much more than JUST writing. It entails a lot of shifting gears. I know this isn’t a new discussion, but I’m interested in what you other writers have to say about how you balance all the roles you have to play.
P.S.: I especially admire you folks who have to balance in the role of “parent.”
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