My daughter is going to be nine next month. She’s gotten old enough to understand that Daddy tends to disappear when he’s on deadline. The four-year-old is less patient, as evidenced by his comment yesterday evening:
“But Daddy, we haven’t roughhoused together in a while today.”
The “today” makes me smile, but this kind of comment is still a powerful gut punch. Writing is my second job, and that means a lot less free time. I’ve talked before about trying to balance writing and family and everything else. It’s not a problem you ever solve. You just do the best you can from day to day.
I’m trying. My daughter and I are still doing karate together every week, and I swiped an idea from one of my readers and started taking her out to breakfast once a month, just her and Daddy. (I’m a putz and can’t remember who mentioned this, but thank you!)
This weekend, after finishing the latest draft of Red Hood, I blew off final revisions so my son and I could play LEGOs together. (I dug up the instructions and totally built this guy, who now watches over my son from atop his dresser.)
Off-topic, when did LEGO start using plastic fiber optic technology???
Anyway, the point is it’s an ongoing struggle to make time for everything that’s important. Nothing gets as much time and attention as I’d like. I’d love to spend every day playing with the kids and spending time with my wife. I’d also love to have eight hours a day to work on the writing. Then there’s the whole day job issue, not to mention sleep. And don’t get me started on housework and yardwork.
Since I can’t give everything as much time as I want, the key has been to prioritize, and to make sure I keep trying to give time to the things that matter. Right now, Red Hood’s Revenge has moved up on the priority list.
But in a few more days, I’m turning that sucker in. I’ll have to start working on book four of course, not to mention thinking about a new book idea I’ve been playing with, but the urgency will have passed. I’ll be able to adjust the priorities again, moving things like date night with my wife or roughhousing with the kids back up where they belong.