Today I have another guest post, this from Anjie Harrte. I believe you’ll find Anjie’s discussion on life to be very insightful, as well as entertaining.
So, without further ado . . . take it away, Anjie:
A life saving ambition
When you are a mother, work full time and trying to build a career as an author you find that you talk to yourself a lot. I know most writers reading this would be shaking their heads at this point.
I don’t get a lot of time to sit quietly and ponder on that next novel, that great idea, that plot that will break or make my career. Instead I work through the kinks in a story while pushing my cart through the isle at the supermarket, while sitting on a bus from home to work or work to home, while scrubbing away at that stubborn stain on my toddler’s little dress, or while using the washroom. Life is complicated for everyone and I do not in any way mean to say that full time authors have it any easier; I just am sharing MY experience; the experience of a woman who tries to balance a 9-5 job, a family and the many voices in her head.
I wake every morning way pass the time I had planned to and I scurry about hurrying to prepare lunch and breakfast simultaneously. Buying lunch is too much of a financial hassle, and my guy refuses to do it since he just detests eating out. But, I love to cook. Cooking is never a task or never laborious for me, unless it is Saturday, the busiest day of my life. I enjoy cooking, whether it is kneading some roti, cooking some curry, or rice, or spaghetti, or choumein, or fried rice, whatever it is, I can cook it and I promise you if I can’t I am certainly willing to make a try at it. Most times when I cook the author in me narrates what I am doing, “and now she adds the sprinkle of baking powder, she is pouring the water with one hand and kneading the dough with the other, a soft consistency will give you a moist roti.” Does it make me crazy? I don’t really care either way, I love to cook and I love to narrate it in my head. Maybe someday I will make a compilation of my cooking experiments and publish a cookbook, maybe – another thing to add to my list, hmph.
My day is always pretty boring, I work in a job where I sit at a desk and run the advertising department of a television station and no, it is not as exciting as it sounds. The advertising market is slow; there are hardly any new customers willing to spend their money on television. So I am stuck with my regular clients. I prepare a sheet at the end of each day and most days that is all I do. So, instead of wasting that extra time playing games or watching movies online I use it to write, learn and grow. I write as long as the ideas flow and when I am blocked, I try to learn how to get past the block, read other writer’s blogs and get acquainted with their form of writing, their tips and advice. I also frequent facebook spending hours there and then not remembering quite what I was doing with all my time.
My day ends with me going home to some washing. I detest washing, pressing and cleaning and didn’t make sure I find a man who likes these things. However since I live in the same house with my mother, she helps with the cleaning, but the washing and pressing I cannot escape. What I do to escape the washing is; I enter in that world where I live this fantastic life, or dramatic life, or rich life, in other words my imagination works wonderfully when I am washing. I think of plots and sometimes my mind goes from the beginning to the end of a story, I see my main characters clear and see some of the major problems they would encounter.
Balancing the responsibilities of my life with my aspirations and dreams can be tedious but it makes my monotonous life bearable. I wake up, cook and head to work. I leave work at midday to do shopping for the little business I have at home which my mother runs for me. I leave work in the afternoon and head home to wash or press or just take a walk with my daughter.
Saturdays I do major shopping for my side business, wash clothes and then take a rest. Sundays I try to take over the shop so my mother can rest and then Monday comes again. For someone who has such a vivid imagination, a life like this can become stifling. So having my writing to escape into helps to keep me sane, helps to give me hope, and makes me happy.
Writing does a lot for me, I suffer from depression and when I was doing therapy I used to write a lot of poetry, very sad and dark poetry but whenever I would read it back to my therapist I always felt a little better.
I know writing saves my life and that is why I never see it as cumbersome on my life or my responsibilities. For now I see it as my escape from them, my freedom from this monotonous life and I dream of it one day being a permanent escape, of it being my profession. My dream for myself is to be able to write for a living, to return to school for a degree in English and to be a professor of English one day. Not a day goes by that I don’t see myself living this dream and so I work hard, I keep my head up and I welcome the plot bunnies with the hope that I can one day mill out a work of art that is appreciated worldwide.
How do you manage life and writing? When do you find the time to write?
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Anjie Harrte: Romance with some Caribbean flavour
Anjie Harrte is a twenty nine year old mother of one who resides in sunny Guyana, South America. Sometime between running a small business, having a full time job and being a mother and partner she finds time to pursue her passion for creating stories. Anjie dreams up stories of contemporary fiction splashed with some romance, a little dose of murder or an ounce of suspense and sometimes when no one is looking she dashes in a little twist. When she isn’t doing any of that, she is decorating a cake, knitting a chair back or sewing her latest design. Anjie even finds time to lurk around and stalk people and pages on facebook and you too can stalk her if you like at Anjie’s Facebook Page, or you can follow her on twitter @anjieharrte or keep updated with her writing at Author Anjie Harrte, or check out one of her stories online for free at The Storytime Trysts Blog.