by Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
Today, I welcome author Carrie Fancett Pagels to give us her experience with that ever-present need to make room for both life and writing. Welcome, Carrie!
Apparently some people think our story world characters are not “real” and that authors must enter into reality of everyday life. Yikes! Spoilsports AKA family and friends! But when one emerges from the writing cave, clothing has not washed itself, meals have not magically been prepared, and no driverless car has escorted children to appointments! Pesky, and sometimes boring, real life is also not under the writer’s control. That’s one of the benefits of being in story world – it can be written, changed, edited, and made to behave as the author wishes. Not so in everyday life.
Remaining grounded in Christian faith, and keeping Biblical mandates in mind, there is nothing that says escaping into a fictional world should take precedence over family life responsibilities. Keeping that in mind, and being obedient to Christ, lessens the obsessive draw to jump back into the writing cave when my son needs me or my husband. I’ve seen a number of authors fail to remain grounded in what our faith requires of us as parents and as spouses. And I’ve been guilty, too, of overextending myself with writing. There’s always a cost when doing so, and it isn’t pretty.
I’m certainly not great about keeping God’s priorities for my life in proper order, but one thing I try to do is to schedule myself for only a certain amount of writing activities a day. I also discuss my upcoming deadlines and responsibilities with my husband so that we are on the same page. I don’t normally write if my husband or son are at home. I try to keep myself available to them, although I do make exceptions. While my teen is at high school and husband is at work, I allot time to work at my writing. When our adult daughter needs me, I try to make myself available – she’s far more interesting than any of my characters!
Writing is a calling but God has blessed me with a family and He’s given us great guidelines for prioritizing those gifts. If you’re an author struggling to balance your schedule, like I often do, ask God – What would you have me do? What would please You? Then do it.
Are there certain times or days when you will or will not write?
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as apsychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.