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Accepting reality

I have two kids now. The house is a constant barrage of noise and clutter. There is little time for sleep or even a moment of quiet. This can really grate on a person's nerves. And it has. I've been both extremely emotional and catatonic.

I haven't been able to avoid thinking about how much I haven't been able to get done. There just isn't enough time to change all those diapers, feed all those open mouths, clean all the messes, AND do a good show for you folks. Nor have I had any time to devote to writing. I've been beating myself up over it for a while now. At the end of the day I'm just too exhausted to sit behind the computer and start a project.

I've got to accept the fact that children just suck up spare time like the Shamwow sucks up spilled wine. I have to let go of the guilt associated with not writing anything. I used to believe that by now I would be a successful writer, having already published several books and collections of short stories. I hasn't happened. Perhaps if I had given up all sleep entirely, then I might have gotten a book published by now. Sure, some folks say that you just "have to want it" more in order to be successful. So be it. I haven't wanted it enough to sacrifice sleep.

For as long as I can remember, I've had this feeling urging me to create something splendid. I haven't had the drive to complete any serious project worthy of mass appeal (or even critique), but I have had the desire. Either in radio or in the literary world. I wanted to be a musician, a writer, a talk-show host, a journalist, or someone otherwise famous. But I never stuck to one thing and knuckled down and did the work. Maybe that's what separates me from successful writers or broadcasters. They worked. I merely dreamed of the result. Sitting around waiting for fame doesn't yield any results, just dreams.

And now, here I am, almost 41, and I've only written a few decent short stories and only spent one year in professional radio. I've squandered my time.

But I've now got a far more important project to work on... I have two children. One is two years old and the other is a month. Nothing else is more important. I had my chance to be some rockstar novelist, and it's passed. I don't have the luxury of wishing things had been different. My kids deserve more attention from me than any manuscript, recording, or microphone. And they deserve more attention from my thoughts than any remorse about lost opportunities.

I guess this post is an attempt to tell myself that it's okay to not have any time for big writing projects. I don't have to smack myself in the face for not sitting down at the keyboard every day working on some work of fiction when there are mouths to feed and bums to wipe. I have to let go of dreams of fame and stardom. Those are past goals.