Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Prioritizing--not always easy

By Pamela

One of the best things about summer is having all my kids home.
One of the worst things about summer is having all my kids home.

Honestly, I can hardly type that second line without mommy-guilt spilling onto the keyboard. But summertime does pose a different schedule than what I'm used to with college-boy floating in and out between his work shifts, high school senior son working/practicing soccer/hanging around and third-grade daughter keeping them both in line.

My college sophomore son told me he spends most of his hours at work dreaming about his passion. As a jazz guitar major, he'd much rather be home composing music than scooping ice cream at a resort. But he understands that keyboards, drum machines and mixing boards cost money, so he's working a job he loathes to further a career he loves. He asked me the other day if I felt bad for not working on my novel much lately.

My son--the musician
"Didn't you think you'd be published by now?" he asked.

"Well, I am published, just not fiction," I clarified. As a freelance writer, I've published hundreds of articles, but he was referring to my manuscript(s). "Yes, I'd love to be a novelist, but right now I have to think about what's best for our family. Working a writing job where I'm paid now as opposed to working on my novel which might pay me later has taken precedence."

He nodded in understanding and I went on to explain the similarities between his situation and mine. While we both have dreams of being someplace else career-wise, we're devoted to what has to be accomplished right now.

Later that evening as I heard him upstairs playing his newly-purchased keyboard--which took about 90 hours of manual labor to purchase--I decided it was the perfect time for me to open up my manuscript and start writing ... the story I'm dreaming of seeing published.


  1. Oh, I can relate! Great post!

  2. And of course you have your Greek chorus standing in the wings reminding you we won't let you forget either dream--the now and the future. You know our names. :)

  3. You go, Pamela! I find that being a writer offers some very valuable "teaching moments." When we write, especially when we write a novel, we show tenacity, patience, dedication, persistence. I often tell my kids about highs and lows of my writer-life . . . how I felt when I pitched my novel at conferences, how I felt when so-and-so agent didn't get back to me, how I felt when I finally DID get an agent. You, through all of your writing, are such a great role model for your kids. Can't wait to buy your book some day.

  4. Thanks, Joan and Julie. My lovely cheerleaders and the best writing buddies one could hope for.

    Sarah,thanks for stopping by our blog. Yes, I worry at times about balance--life, kids, work, play. But I do think my children see me plugging away and know what it takes to achieve something you really want.


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