I contemplated writing this post and then talked myself out of it, then back in to it, and then out of it once again. So I’ve just decided to write it and then I will decide whether to post it or not after the fact.
Today I had another argument with my husband. Now, let me state for the record that he is usually very supportive and, not only that, but excited about my writing and my dream of making a career out of writing novels. But today it all became too much. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Many times over the past 10 months, since I quit my job and dropped out of school to focus on my writing, we have had this conversation; this argument. I’m sure some other writers experience this as well.
The fact is, when I started this full-time writing journey, we decided that it wouldn’t really be full-time. It would be my responsibility to keep the house clean and usable, and to put dinner on the table (or TV tray :P). That would be my priority since my husband would be the only one working (and by working, I mean bringing in the dough). I think this is fair. We can’t really afford for me to not be working (for money), so this is a good compromise for me to have the opportunity that I have. We also got a puppy in July, so she takes up quite a bit of my time as well.
Now, my writing is going well. I may have nothing really to show for it yet, but I feel like I am working toward my goal, and my husband agrees. I have about seven started manuscripts but I have yet to finish a first draft. I have tried editing as I go and I have tried locking away my inner-editor. I have tried project hopping and I have tried focusing on one thing at a time. I have discovered a lot about myself as a writer — about how and when I write best and about what motivates me and what does the opposite. But in the end, I have nothing to show for it. I have nothing published. I don’t even have a first draft completed. And I can’t even keep up on the chores.
I go in spurts. The apartment will be clean and up kept for, let’s say, a month, and then it will fall apart and become a disaster and I’ll become depressed and unmotivated and I mentally won’t be able to clean and I’ll fall behind on my writing and my husband will be irritated that I am not holding up my end of the bargain. (Holy run on sentence Batman!) But then I will slowly pick myself back up and get this place cleaned up and get back into my writing and my mood will improve and my husband’s mood will improve and we will have another month of good times.
The last couple of weeks haven’t been good. The kitchen counters are stacked with dirty dishes, the floors need to be vacuumed, every surface is cluttered, and the bathrooms need a good scrub. I haven’t written much for the past week. And to top it all off, my arm has been hurting like hell and I’ve had to start popping Ibuprofen and wearing a wrist brace.
Today, it all blew up.
I was doing the dishes and my husband was starting to make lunch when he made an irritated remark about the state of the kitchen. I retorted with the fact that I was doing the best I can… And well, it escalated from there. Next thing I knew, it was 6pm and we had argued most of the day away.
In the end, nothing is really going to change. I’ll keep trying and he’ll keep working and we will make it work. But I think that we both feel better now that we have let out the truth of how each of us have felt over the past 10 months. It may not have changed anything physically, but mentally today has made a world of difference.
Now, I am going to let this Ibuprofen kick in and then I’m going to get in the kitchen and scrub some pots and pans. And once that’s over with, maybe I’ll actually finish one of those first drafts. 😛
My husband wrote a blog post a couple days ago that touches on this subject and broadens the scope of what we have been dealing with this past year of writing mayhem. Please check it out!