...Makes Jack a very dull boy, or for that matter, Nik a very dull girl.
We all need a work/life balance. It’s one of those things people talk a lot about these days... people who work in HR, GPs, mental health professionals, husbands, wives and partners of people who work long hours... people like that. It’s one of those modern buzzwords, and it gets talked about even more during a recession, because that’s when people who already work too much tend to work harder because of the fear, because they want to hang on to what they’ve got.
I’m one of the lucky ones, not least because my work is my play. I’m a writer for heaven’s sake, a creative... I get to sit and make up stories, and then people pay me for them... How cool is that? That’s the coolest! Surely?
The truth is, it is cool, and the truth is, I’m not complaining, but here’s the thing: My hobby is making art. I’ve been taking an art class pretty well continuously for ten years or so, and I even embarked on a fine art degree, which I got halfway through when the husband was taken ill with epilepsy, and I had to take a hiatus. I haven’t gone back to the degree yet, although I hope to some day, but I did continue with the classes. Then, six months ago, everything got busy... everything got very, very busy, and, suddenly, I stopped finding the time for art; suddenly, there weren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week to afford me three hours on a Friday morning to pick up my art bag and take myself off to draw something... And that’s sad, that’s really very, very sad.
Three hours! It was only three hours!
I’m not going to talk about word counts or anything like that, but I am going to say that I have worked longer than twelve hour days every day this week, and I was at a convention (although that was fun too) over the weekend, and I’ve only had one day off, when I went shopping with Katie and Eve, in the past... how many weeks? And this book is on-track... and it’s only three hours for goodness sake!
I have decided that this morning, I’m starting back at art class. I’m arming myself with some great big sheets of paper and some great fat lumps of charcoal, and a flask of decent decaff, and some cash for the model, because it’s the autumn term and we always have a model, and I'm damned well going to draw something. I need this, and I’ve earned it, and, what’s more, having an outlet fuels the creative fires, and I’ll come back to the work fresher and happier, and ready to commit to the next chunk of this project, because that’s how it works, that’s how this writer keeps herself going.
And if you read this and you agree with my central premise, bear in mind that I won’t be around to plug my blog this morning because I’ll be in my art class, so do feel free to give it a bump on Twitter, in my absence, and, if you want to see just how creative I can be without having a stick of charcoal in my hand for six months, check out my Twitter feed, because, if you’re lucky, I might post up some pics of my progress, this morning.
Oh... And wish me luck!