The ‘Write-aholic’ Intervention

My family says I’ve changed since I’ve become an author. Not in the sense of becoming overly confident or proud. They say I no longer clean my house.

Ashley, my youngest, said to me over the Christmas Holidays. “Mom, Jennifer is very worried about you. There’s dust on the cabinet in the upstairs hallway. And cobwebs!”

Me:  “There’s cobwebs upstairs? I hadn’t noticed.”

Ashley: “That’s the point. You’ve never had cobwebs. You’ve never had dust. Maybe you should get a cleaning lady to clean your house.”

I look around at my home. It’s not that bad. Maybe a bit of dust here and there, but it’s presentable. Isn’t it? I’m retired. How do I justify a cleaning lady? When I worked as a Controller for a corporation in St Louis, I didn’t have a cleaning lady. My husband would think I’d lost it if I suggested I needed help to clean my house now that I’m home every day.

Me: “I don’t think that’s necessary. I’ll assign a day to cleaning.” That should take care of it.

Ashley: “You need to cook dinners for Dad once in a while.” She couched her words carefully. Maybe my husband was wondering if I was ever going to leave the computer.

My face fell. My husband comes home from work every evening and cooks dinner. I always offer to help just as soon as I finish the scene I’m writing. By the time I type the last word, dinner is on the table.

Me: “You’re absolutely right. I’ll cook every Thursday. It’s your dad’s late night.” I beam at her as if the one night solves the issue.

Ashley sighed and went on. “Maybe you can help him with the laundry.” My poor daughter was obviously uncomfortable, but had taken on the job of opening my eyes to my overzealous dedication to my new career.

Me: “Your dad likes to do the laundry. He’s always done the laundry.” By now, shame is written on my face. I hate to do laundry. Maybe there’s another trade-off. “I’ll do the grocery shopping.” I’m satisfied; it’s a good compromise.

Ashley: “Dad likes to do the shopping. He likes to buy things for the kids on his Sunday morning adventure to Wally-World.”

Me: I sigh. “He does, but he also likes to do the laundry.”

Ashley: “Maybe you can mow the lawn once in a while.”

Me: “I can’t use the zero-turn. I’ll mow down his trees.”

Ashley: “Mom, he bought you a riding lawnmower. It’s sitting in the barn.”

I have no answer for this. There is a miniature riding lawnmower sitting in the barn. The grandkids drive it around when they visit.

Ashley:  Adding a positive note to my write-aholic intervention. “Well, he is happier now that he doesn’t have to take care of the horses every day. At least you did that for him.”

Me: “Yes, he is. I’m glad I gave in and sold them and sent Juno to the trainer.”

Ashley finally stops talking. I know she’s beside herself having to be the one to give me the talk, but who else will do it. She’s the closest. She doesn’t intentionally want to make me feel like a horrible person, but I am a horrible person. At least when it comes to neglecting my family and squirreling myself away to write. And I’m married to a Saint. For years,   I thought I was the Saint, but who was I fooling. No one, but myself.

I promise to do better. That evening, my husband comes home, and I tell him I’m going to be a better person. I’ll cook and clean and mow the lawn.

Husband: “When are you going to write?”

Me: “I’ll fit it in.”

Husband: “Don’t be silly. You love to write.”

Without my husband, I wouldn’t be able to write as I do. I’m able to spend hours at the computer typing away, spinning dreams, creating heroes, but the biggest hero in my life walks through the door every evening and cooks me dinner.

About patriciahudson

Author. Her three passions: family, writing and horses.
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7 Responses to The ‘Write-aholic’ Intervention

  1. Deanna Adams says:

    I think most of us writers can relate! Keep in mind that you won’t be remembered by your clean – or dirty – house, but by the books you produce 🙂

  2. summersrye says:

    Yea, I can relate to so much. Since my writing has fully taken off–finally–I find it hard to get around to the Halloween decorations permanently gracing my home. That would be the cobwebs and dust hanging about that I somehow always managed to find time to get rid of before. Before wring became more than a hobby, more than something to do to spend my hours. And horses, ahh, I had four., Down to none now. Not by choice by necessity. Big difference. Ditto for husband, who was no saint. But neither am I.
    But now, since I have no immediate family to be concerned with my lack of attention to them, and my house is my castle alone, and my friends are of the supportive and encouraging type, I won’t worry about any interventions soon. Just as long as I keep showing up for the day job still…

  3. Very nice blog and one where writers can relate. We all have issues. Thanks for sharing yours.

  4. Sounds a bit like my house. Hubby has taken to calling before he comes home to see if dinner will be ready.

  5. Hello Pat,
    I can relate to your blog post on so many levels. It is nice when the person you love is supportive of what you do. My husband also tends to do a lot of the cooking these days because I am always writing. The kids have taken to luring me out of my writing cave with pastries. They tell me that if I want one…I have to go downstairs to eat it. It cracks me up. :0)

  6. OMG. I so relate to this. The problem is hubby’s a writer, too. So we don’t have anyone else to do the work. LOL. But in a way that makes the dust bunnies ok. Great post!

  7. Beth Carter says:

    I enjoyed this and can relate which makes me a bit sad. I have been feeling neglectful of my hubby and house. You do have a saint for a husband. I do the laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning (when I get around to it). But he takes care of the lawn, machines, and is a great prep cook and dishwasher. And we eat out a LOT.

    It is so hard to find balance as a writer. I think because we can’t turn it off at 5 p.m. like most jobs. When ideas/inspiration hits, we must write it down or we’ll lose it. Great job.

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