Nibbled by Ducks

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Take Joy by Jane Yolen

Often I feel as if my writing time is being slowly nibbled away by ducks. I have to fight my husband, the family, the world for writing time.

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Then I read a biography about Emily Dickinson, where she's shown making tea cakes and writing letter, helping in the house, playing with her nephews and her nieces, etc.

I read about Edna St. Vincent Millay, who went to parties, acted in plays, had three lovers in a single day, she still wrote.

I realize we writers must live in the real world. That means cakes, letters, bills, clogged toilets. That means reading other people's books, watching TV, doing crossword puzzles, chatting on the phone. That means taking children to school, to the orthodontist, to choir practice, to basketball games. That means working till 3, till 5, till 8, till midnight. That means vacuuming the living room of cat hairs, dog hairs, husband hairs. That means running to the grocery store, the paint store, the shoe store. That means going to the doctor, the dentist, the hair salon.

That means … life.

Besides, without life, what is there to write about?