Balancing Act

When I first joined RWA, there was a column at the end of every issue of the Romance Writers’ Report called “The Last Word.” The one I remember most vividly is the transcript of the speech  Anne Stuart delivered at the RWA National Conference Awards Luncheon on Saturday, August 1, 1998. While the industry has changed in ways we could not imagine back then, her advice is still relevant today:

…spotless houses take too much time out of life. Love your children, feed them, and teach them to do their own laundry. And then get back to work on your book.

Comedienne Phyllis Diller once quipped: “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

Choreographer Twyla Tharp said: “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

In order make the time to write, compose, paint, dance, or in other ways create, something else has to go. One person can’t do everything. I recommend losing the housework. If the people who share your living space disagree, they are free to clean. ( And yes, you must make the time as opposed to finding it.)

Teaching your children how to do laundry, cook, and clean isn’t a bad thing. They will have life skills when they are launched into the world, and you will have the time and space to do your thing.

That’s balance.