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8:07 p.m. - 2014-02-07
Yesterday I managed to get ahead on homework, spend time with my kids, read in French for an hour, and write another three or four pages of my novel. For once, a success day.

Of course, I only got about three hours of sleep.

I usually go to bed feeling guilty -- or panicky -- about all the things I'm neglecting while trying to make progress on SOMETHING. If I take the time to write instead of studying, I live in fear of bombing my next test. If I study instead of writing, I freak out that I will never, ever publish anything but goddamn newspaper and magazine articles. If I don't work on languages, I am terrified that I will never leave the country.

No matter what I do, I feel like I'm neglecting my kids and A. They all want more from me that I can ever give them -- more time, more affection, more ME -- and the fact that I'm doomed to failure makes me sometimes want to withdraw completely. I know that I am very lucky that every time I sit down, I have a child trying to edge onto my lap or a wife massaging my shoulders, but sometimes I want just ten freaking minutes of NOT BEING touched.

I really felt good about writing yesterday, though. I haven't been taking much time to write when school is in session. I thought I'd feel freaked out today that I'd "wasted" so much time, but instead I felt calmer.

It's hard to balance nursing school and writing. Nursing school is more immediate, with tests and deadlines and blah blah. So I pay attention to that first, but sometimes I feel like I don't belong there. I am terrified I am losing the writer I used to be -- terrified of becoming "just a nurse." Not that there's anything wrong with being "just a nurse" -- it's just a problem for me, because writing is like breathing for me.

I'll write more tonight. I think it will make me feel ... safe? Safe because I'm not losing me after all? If I am writing, I don't have to worry about not writing, right?

It's somewhat embarassing to write about being a writer here, because if anyone read this (which I doubt) they'd probably conclude that I think I have more writing talent than I actually do. For me, diary writing is unedited spew that I don't even try to make sound good; it's sort of like a executive chef making himelf a peanut butter sandwich when he's hungry. This diary doesn't really showcase my cooking abilities, but it doesn't mean I can't cook.

I do think I could write a novel that would make me money; after all, I've been earning my living writing since I was 19. It's just a longer, more ambitious form of writing, right? I just have to actually fucking do it.




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