“Where do you find the time to write?!”
Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
– John Lennon
Fellow bloggers, I need for you to weigh in: Do friends and family, coworkers and acquaintances, claim to marvel at how you find the time to write? Is this a back-handed compliment? It is not a rhetorical question I pose to you, but an earnest inquiry as I form and shape my own opinion.
People who read my blog, the ones I know in “real life,” have many questions about my writing:
Questions like this, questions about content, are easy to field:
No, not to my knowledge.
Yes, I bought the sign. It is hanging on the back of our carriage house.
I read an article about panda sex in The Week.
I have a hard time coming up with the right answer, however, when people ask me where I find the time to write. It puts me on the defensive.
“You write a lot. Where do you find the time?”
The reason this particular question stumps me is that it comes off like an indictment rather than a sincere question. There is typically a tone of voice, a facial expression, that communicates judgement. I don’t think an answer is anticipated or desired. If I said, “Oh, I write from 9 to 10pm,” I don’t think my conversational partner would feel satisfied. It isn’t a question at all, but a statement: You waste a lot of time, and I am busier than you.
Do you agree? Am I being defensive? I will be the first to admit I am neurotic, and it is very possible that I am projecting my own insecurities about productivity onto others, but I feel like we (i.e. bloggers) have more to answer for than our golfing, gardening, fly-fishing counter-parts.
How do I find the time to write? How do other people find time to go to football games? How do people find the time to watch Game of Thrones? Where do people find the time to lift weights, teach children’s Sunday school, sleep in on Saturday, comment on friends’ Facebook posts or drive their kids to a gym 30 miles away in order to take part in a “stronger” tumbling program?
None of us “finds” time; the time is there. We all have the same amount to pass. How I differ from my friends who do Crossfit or make their own jelly is not in the time I find, but in the passions that drive my priorities.
Yes, I have a career to grow, but I also write. I am a speech therapist. I rehabilitate self expression as an occupation. In that context, a blog makes sense. It never seems to bother my superiors that I write or post my ideas online. On the contrary, they are very supportive.
And yes, I have a marriage to nurture, but I also write. I suspect that for every hour I spend in solitude drafting a story or essay, Todd has spent an hour reading, watching football or going to a show with a friend. We are a married couple, not a pair of conjoined twins; we can spend time apart.
And yes, I have children, but I also write. The kids are the most important part of my life, but they are not the only part of it. I’m not inclined to lend any credence to the antiquated notion that women, once they become mothers, maintain none of their own hobbies and interests.
I am as busy everybody else. Sometimes I am busy writing. Sometimes I am busy doing something else. What else is there to say?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Plead the Fifth.”