Time frustration…..are writers just selfish with theirs?

Not having the time to do the things you want can be very frustrating. It is as true of life generally as it is of writing. There are hundreds of places I would like to visit; not just countries and cities, but galleries, country houses, rivers, national parks, restaurants. Then there are the books I want to read, operas I want to see, records I would like to listen to, HBO box sets I will never have the time to plough through, (on season four of The Wire, and that has taken 18 months), and even recipes I would love to cook.

Then we come to more personal things. I never have enough time to visit my family as much as I would like; some of my closest friends are lucky if they see me more than once a year. On this point, I realised some years ago that having been fortunate enough to go to university and thus leave home and ‘get away’, has a very obvious downside: you tend to end up not living round the corner from your home town and family. Being upwardly mobile generates a physical division between you and your parents and certainly your friends who made the same choices.

With work, eating, sleeping, resting, visiting my mother and A’s family, seeing friends, shopping, eating and sleeping, when am I supposed to find the time to write? I could write for a few minutes today, but am visiting my step mother and will be away for two days. Then we are having dinner with friends on Thursday and then I’m back at work. I only returned from New York yesterday and am completely exhausted. If I wanted to to write I probably couldn’t. I suppose this is writing of a sort, but you know what I  mean.

I’d like to start work on the (say is quietly) ‘big one’, but feel it deserves more than the occasional look. I have characters and the story planned in my head, but never have the time to really get stuck in. I love my flash fiction, but does it steal time from any other scribbling I could be doing?

Basically, what I want to know is: are writers just selfish with their time or am just incapable of prioritising? I would say answers on a post card please, but no one uses the mail any more, so answers as comments on the blog please.

I have to go now. We are leaving shortly and I have been informed that the dishwasher won’t, in fact, empty itself. I was hoping to post a new story today, but see above for why I can’t! I will however tease you with two options for the next one, both based on my trip to NYC. You choose which story I should write about. Option 1: a story based on a bowl of matzo ball soup. Or option 2: a story set in a reading room of the New York City Public Library. I won’t fool myself that I’ll have much vote counting to do, (I checked the blog stats), but if anyone has a strong opinion let me know.

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