Thursday, 3 March 2011

Crap Mother of the Year Award.

Good afternoon, all

Ah, the sun is shining.

Oh dear, the dreaded question has been posed – How do you manage your writing time and family commitments/job? My answer – I doubt very well. My writing takes priority.

I have decided I may be up for crap mother and housewife of the year awards. Not that I am bothered. I have won before. I have to confess, housework and motherly duties come second to my writing. Ok, before you all raise your hands in horror and call up social services, I have to inform you my children are old enough to move out {why don’t they?}. Rafa, of course, is still too young to leave home but he is content with a handful of bunny food and a nice spot by the sofa and, as my literary agent, he does provide a service therefore I do not mind taking time away from the pc to care for him. He is cuddly too.
My life is split into two seasons; winter and summer. Winter is for bumming around the house in baggy pyjama bottoms and my son’s discarded Death Metal t-shirts. I have a horror of early morning rising. I feel physically sick. I was like this as a child. While most kids dreamed of ponies and the latest chopper bike, my wish was to own a mechanical bed that, at the push of a button, would drive me to school and then park up in the back of the classroom so I wouldn’t have to get out of bed at all. I once went to bed fully dressed in my school uniform so I could nab an extra hour of slumber in the morning. My mother was not amused. Needless to say I had to change.
But now, older and definitely not wiser, I am free to set my own time schedule. I drag myself from my bed around ten {ish}, let Rafa out of his cage, shove on the coffee and then, with a huge mug of brew, I switch on the pc. Somewhere around midday, I remember I haven’t got any food in the house,

I need to put on a wash and I better start on the dishes. As for cooking – my family is used to eating a bizarre hours. It could be 2, 3, 4pm. I do actually love cooking. I have been told I am a very good cook but then, with a 5 star chef quality mother and grandmother leading the way, I had no choice. But I am not a faffer. I hate this measuring out malarkey. Cooking should be instinctive.
And so, on to the rest of my day. After lunch/ dinner {whatever it is}, back to the pc. Someone once said to me, you’re ok, you don’t have to work. You just sit at the pc all day. Er – excuse me? As you writers out there know, there just isn’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all we want to accomplish: works in progress, editing, blogging, promo, querying agents/pubs. The dreaded synopsis writing, researching for w.i.p, Facebook…oops, where did that come from. Actually, ladies and gents, we need FB. It is an essential tool, right? RIGHT??? Somewhere around 11-12, I fall into bed and watch some TV. I do love police tales. My fave show of the moment is The Closer. So that is my winter day
Summer is not so easy to balance. I am seasonally employed as a hotel receptionist. Work begins at 2pm and I get home around 10 – 10.30 pm. Every year, I promise myself I will keep up with my stuff at home but it never quite works out that way. Summer, however, is when I will start on a new story. Usually, in the afternoon, the hotel has a slow couple of hours when the guests are down the beach and I manage to scribble down my thoughts on a scruffy notebook hidden under the desk. Sometimes, however, it’s just too damn hot to think straight. Also kinda of difficult to write out a steamy scene when the phone rings or someone comes and asks for their room key. I think, this year, I will get a sign. Do Not Disturb, Genius at Work – Get your own Bloody Key.

{Guests have been known to do this but just don’t tell my boss}.
So, is it really about balance? I think it is more about making a choice. If you want to go out for Housewife/mother/wife of the Year award than all I can say is – don’t take up writing. If you want to be a writer, well, in the words of Marie Antoinette – Let Them Eat Cake. {Or in my case, pitas}. Off to order in. See you all soon.


  1. It's so true, Viviane, we have to prioritise and something has to give. Your blogs always make me smile

  2. Love it Viviane :-) I definitely don't have enough time in the day, but then I catch myself wasting too much of it doing unessentials like housework and stuff!
    Great post.