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A Double Life : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

A Double Life

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
The Cormorant
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A Double Life

Postby The Cormorant » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:04 pm

I am torn.

I consider myself a successful writer, if only by measure of passion. it is the profession by which I want to build the foundation of my life in all respects. Words said, heard, or written with eloquence bring me joy. We, all of us in this place who choose to congregate here to find knowledge and inspiration in a community of kindred spirits -- we know how hard the journey is.

This is one of my harder days. I've been coming home from work at 8:00 PM for the past week. I browse through my office calendar and see eight months of turmoil ahead of me. I'm giving all I've got, and still its not enough for the higher ups. We're understaffed and bureaucracy gets in the way at every turn. I get chewed out for not having more appendages or being in multiple places at the same time. So... when am I supposed to write?
I've been getting back home feeling like the walking dead. I can open my word document,sure, but I am just going to stare into space. After a grueling day like this one, I just want to pass out... or vent....

I've been thinking about marriage, lately. I see my married friends and I wonder how do they do it? They work as hard as I do, how do they maintain a marriage? a family? I keep thinking marriage is going to be another obstacle in the way of my writing. I turn 29 next month. Companionship is important, but relationships are 50-50 in my eyes. Not in a quid pro quo sense, I just feel like I couldn't be the best version of me that a wife would need. Not the way I'm living now.Drained, numb and stressed out of my eyeballs.

I guess what I want to ask is, how do you guys balance it all? How do you keep it together? How far do you go not to neglect your writing?
"The hearts of Arabs are filled with words of furious passion that slip through eloquent tongues, unto deaf ears, which belong to nodding heads."

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MookyMcD
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Re: A Double Life

Postby MookyMcD » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:12 pm

I'm the last guy on earth to ask about marriage. But my first priority is being a good daddy, which is even more work. It means working a lot (although I've got a pretty cush job -- I'm "participating" in a conference call as I write this). It also means cooking dinner for 4 girls every night, doing the dishes, walking the dog (although that's also my scheduled plotting time), making their lunches for the next day, etc.

I'd bet 80,000 of the 100,000 words in my MS were written between the hours of 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM. Because that's when I can.

TerryRodgers
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Re: A Double Life

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:32 pm


LilliesCarol
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Re: A Double Life

Postby LilliesCarol » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:09 pm

Complain, complain, is that all we get from you gentlemen? Corm, you are still very young and could be my grandson. You have your whole life ahead of you. My mother always said to me. "If the heart is willing the spirit will find a way." For twenty-five years I was the sole support of my three girls. No alimony, no child support, just me. I was an executive secretary and had a great deal of responsibility placed on me when the boss decided he wanted to play golf or have long lunches, go on business trips or long vacations. Albeit, I learned a lot through those experiences. With all the responsibility, there were no perks and no pay raises. Women's salaries in those days for a week are now what women presently earn in a day. I had a house to maintain, children to get to school each day, property taxes to pay, food and necessities to provide for 3 girls and myself, lawn to cut, snow to shovel, car batteries that had to be removed brought inside and the next morning replaced so the car would start and I could get to work. Exhausted, you bet I was, but if I didn't do it there was no one. So don't tell me you can't have a family, work a full-time job, and not find time to write. I am a woman and I did it all. AND because of it, at my age, I now find through all these experiences, I have much to relate to when writing. Come on guys, are you going to let a woman whip your arsh. (That is an old German word for A--.
Long, long afterward in an oak I found the arrow still unbroke
And the song from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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MookyMcD
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Re: A Double Life

Postby MookyMcD » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:45 pm

I'm not really following. The moral of my story was, my day ends at 11:00 PM, so I sit down and start writing at 11:00 PM. I didn't see my post as a complaint about anything.

TerryRodgers
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Re: A Double Life

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:50 pm

Same here. I was agreeing that if you want to write, then write. Don't let your busy life get in the way. That's just an easy excuse. No complaining here. I make time to write because I want to. And all things considered, I've had a pretty easy life so I don't get to complain. :D

LilliesCarol
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Re: A Double Life

Postby LilliesCarol » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:25 pm

Long, long afterward in an oak I found the arrow still unbroke
And the song from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

James A. Ritchie
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Re: A Double Life

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:10 pm

I've been happily married for almost thirty-five years, and I can, without doubt, tell you the secret of a long and happy marriage. . .make sure you marry someone who's a better person that you are. Do this, and it all works well.

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MookyMcD
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Re: A Double Life

Postby MookyMcD » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:31 pm

So you're saying my "marry unholy demon-spawn from the deepest pit in hell" thing wasn't the way to go?

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DrG2
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Re: A Double Life

Postby DrG2 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:26 pm


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