Friday, 14 December 2007

Sacrificial Offerings

Roll up, roll up! Anyone fancy a brew? Nah, let’s crack open the sherry, munch some mince pies – who cares if it’s early? No? Oh, ok then. Later, yes?

I just had a message from Liz: Do you know it’s your turn to host coffee? Yes, I thought, yes, yes, I know! I just need to sort the washing out and feed the kids and… and…

And then I thought, oh sod it, I’ll just write the post. I write better when I do it before everything else. But that does rather mean that the ironing is piled up like technicolour molehills all around the house, the pantry’s empty and the carpet tragically lacking in hoover swirls. I wasn’t much of a domestic goddess before I tried to become a writer. Now, I’m the sluttiest domestic slattern imaginable. But I don’t care. It’s a small price to pay.

Yesterday, I turned down a job in a publishing company. I’ve been dying to work in that sort of environment for yonks. Why did I give it up? Because it was a Proper Job, five days a week. I have opted to take a really boring job in a building society instead, simply because it gives me two clear days to write in the week.

So here is my question to you: what do you/would you sacrifice for your writing?




21 comments:

Kate.Kingsley said...

Decaff for me this morning, caffeine being one of the many things I'm currently required to avoid :-)

Your house sounds a bit like mine Jen! I was never the tidiest person in the world, but five years of combining a full time job, a part-time OU degree and writing too, well suffice it to say we've been wallowing in the mire for quite some time now!

What would I sacrifice for writing? Well, I think a lot of the other racers will agree that to some degree we sacrifice our sanity (is it really normal to spend your time inventing pretend people in pretend universes and then making them behave the way you like?), but I think the main thing I have / am sacrificing is free time. And I don't mind that at all, because otherwise I'd only be watching rubbish telly, or dithering around on the internet. I suppose the other thing to bear in mind that sacrificing my free time does mean sacrificing some of the time that could be spent with husband and friends, but on the whole they're an understanding bunch, and pretty busy themselves so it doesn't create too much of a problem.

I am not yet at the stage where the full time, mortgage paying job can hit the sacrificial pyre, but soon, hopefully soon......

PS: thank you all so much for your congrats and kind comments on my two lots of good news ~ I am genuinely touched by them :-) .

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Yep, sanity, time, cleanliness, higher earnings... quite a lot, really! (Well done for taking the boring job that gives you time, Jen - I'm sure you won't regret it.)

CC Devine said...

Morning All,

I'm so relieved that it's Friday!

My current role is probably going to become part-time and I've got the dilemma (as you no doubt had, Jen) of deciding whether this is a sign and I should crack on with my writing in the other couple of days a week or admit the reality of the situation which is that I can't really afford to live on a part-time salary in London.

That aside I think that I've sacrificed reading/music time on my commute to make notes to drafts, I forgo all TV (not missing much it would seem) apart from my beloved Strictly Come Dancing and I have been known to tell my friends that I can't come out because I'm babysitting the Naughty Nieces (see my blog) when that's a bit of a whopper.

As for housework, well, I am not a fan of ironing at the best of times so any excuse to avoid it is fine by me and the hoovering does get done just not as frequently as it probably should.

Lastly, I'm lucky (?) in that I've been single for most of the time that I've been writing my novel and I do not have children which means that I can please myself and do exactly what I wanted with my free time i.e. write. I realise that many of you have to juggle a hell of alot more to do that.

CC

Rowan Coleman said...

Like many of you it seems, the easiest thing for me to sacrifice is my dedication to housework, which was scant to begin with. Are there any really fanatically tidy writers out there, out of interest?

Maybe we could have a racers House Clean Is Your House coffee morning one day.....

Lazy Perfectionista said...

I suffer from hereditary untidiness - in my family doing things like hoovering the stairs or cleaning the bathroom is called 'giving them a birthday' which indicates the (in)frequency of these occurrences... Now that I'm married to a clean-freak, things are a lot more neat and tidy, but not usually due to my input. When I start tidying up, this usually involves moving huge quantities of books, notebooks and other literary paraphernalia from where they have ended up to where they should be. Predictably, I become side-tracked quickly...

Other things that fall by the wayside when I'm in full-blown writing mode include sleep and being on time for things (though to be honest, time-keeping has never been a strong point of mine either!).

Fiona said...

Oh, I'll join you in a sherry. Start as you mean to go on, I say...hic.

Love the cartoon, especially the handcuffs. I'll need them to tie me to my WIP if I'm ever to finish it.

You win a gold star for turning down posh publishing job to give you two free writing days. It will be worth it.

I've already given up my sanity, dosh and any friends who expect to seat on furniture when they visit.

K.Imaginelli said...

Morning all, I'll have a medium cappuccino and raspberry scone. Yum!

After watching this site for the past year, I've decided to delurk and join y'all. You can find me over at therevisinglife.blogspot.com (Since I'm new to blogger, I don't have many entries yet)

Anyways, housework has most definitely been sacrificed (lots of dust bunnies rolling around). I also tend to throw more money than I should at books and snazzy journals when I could be building my wardrobe according to the Tim Gunn checklist. But really, what good would a little black dress or trench coat do me when I spend most of my time at a desk or on the couch? Sleep has been sacrificed on occassion. And sometimes when I'm really going, I put off tasks I need to do for the day job. I could say that exercise has been sacrificed, but it's not like I was that much of a gym bunny before I began writing.
~~Kim

hesitant scribe said...

Hi folks - I'm afraid my mind isn't really on writing this week. The CT Scan results were not so good, and I've posted all about it on my blog, so feel free to find out over there... saves me having to go through it all again.

To all of you worried about house-work, and life's little stresses - please please please don't! Life is too short, and you must seize the day. As long as you haven't got fungi growing on your sofa, it can keep.

As soon as I get my head around the current situation I am going to write write write my novel.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Sociability for one, not that I was ever very social to begin with but these days I have my head in the computer for 12 hours a day. I've given up my ego -- that was crushed with the first round of rejection letters -- and my sanity, signed away in blood. I've also given up much of my reading. I do still read, but now it's one book a week instead of one a day. I'm not a good enough writer that I can stop what I'm reading from filtering into what I'm writing, especially if they're close in subject matter.

Helen said...

Same as you Jen, I gave up two paid jobs to do this. I also gave up my fledgling business. And money. When son was smaller I put him in the nursery two mornings a week, though that was also to save my sanity. Speaking of whom I had better go and pick him up from school.

Cathy said...

This an easy one...housework! I don't miss it at all. Though come to think of it I don't see my friends as often as I used to either. That is not so good.

B.E. Sanderson said...

My house is a sty. My husband does the laundry, so at least we have clean clothes. My daughter has learned to cook, so we have hot meals. I sit here at my computer typing. I don't watch TV very much anymore (except when the kid needs my computer to study online). I don't leave the house much these days.

The only things I won't sacrifice is my relationship with my husband (who's very understanding of this whole writing thing) and my daughter's education (we homeschool).

Someday I'll be published and all of this will be worth it.

Caroline said...

A PhD. I was in my second year, with funding and a possible academic future.

And you know what, I really don't regret it.

I've followed my heart, instead of devoting my life to linguistics.

Hope you're all getting merry. Tis the season ...

xxx

KayJay said...

I'm drinking Champagne and eating a Krispy Kreme. Get me and my indulgent Friday afternoon!

Easier to say what I wouldn't sacrifice: my marriage, my loved ones, my health (except the bad back and widening arse from too much sitting and too little exercise) and my need for adventures every now and then! You've got to live a little to write about it, don't you...? Hence the bubbly and the doughnut (ok, not strictly an adventure as such...ho ho ho hum).

liz fenwick said...

Great question- i thinks it's free time that would normally be spent on reading.... and possibly being as social as I should be????

Lane said...

Great question Jen. Opting for the boring job will pay dividends in the end.

My kids would probably say they're being sacrificed. They're only too familiar with the phrase " Shhh - Just give me five minutes" (which inevitably is never actually five minutes:-)

I think I've gained far more than I've sacrificed. It keeps me sane.

A. Writer said...

My Social Life. My friends think I'm 'sad' for writing in my spare time and not out pubbing and clubbing with them. They don't seem to realise that this is what I want to do.

wordtryst said...

Well, the consensus around here is that I didn't have much sanity to begin with, so I can't say I sacrificed that for writing. I've definitely sacrificed a teaching career, a home of my own, job security, time with friends, and a host of other things.

But I've gained, too. I've had adventures, tried my hand at other jobs, made new friends who share my writing passion... I've learned much, grown in confidence, and discovered that I have a lot more courage and resourcefulness than I thought I had.

I think it's been a fair exchange.

JJ said...

Sorry I'm late. I think you're immensely brave, Jen to go for the part time option: well done.

Hmmm, I can't think of anything that I do sacrifice for writing. I'm happier, I have more self esteem, confidence and sanity when I write (even just blogging). Family are proud I'm doing something I love and that makes me happier, even if it means I'm stuck in front of the laptop evenings and weekends.

Here in Thailand I don't have to worry about domesticity (though in England I did/will, and I'm already the biggest slut ever, so I won't be giving up high standards of homely cleanliness).

I guess I give up some social stuff, but when I weigh up the social event against the writing, the writing wins because I want to do it more.

It seems to be a win win to me!

JJx

Helen Shearer said...

Hello everyone. It's quarter past eleven on Friday night where I am, so technically I have made it for Friday coffee break. I should probably have decaf at this time of night. I have to say that I don't consider anything I have missed out on for the sake of writing a sacrifice. Writing is what I'd rather be doing. Giving up writing in order to get the other stuff done is the sacrifice. I suppose that's easy for me to say though. I live alone and I have no children so if my apartment looks like the county waste dump it doesn't really matter. My family doesn't really suffer when I lock myself in the study for hours on end. Half the time they don't even know. Have a fab week everyone.

Captain Black said...

I'd have to go with sanity.