Tonight I am remembering a piece of advice that I will always be grateful for.
My husband, youngest daughter, and I went to a book signing for Brandon Sanderson.
My husband, Tod, asked him, “What can I do to help support my wife in her writing?”
Brandon told him to give me at least four hours, twice a week, of non interrupted time to write. If he did that, I’d have at least one book finished once a year. This made Tod very happy since he was already giving me this time and more.
Brandon then turned to me. I remember his tone so perfectly in my head, lighthearted but serious. “Now you,” he began, “When you are with them, be with them.” He then explained further. He basically told me to enjoy being with my family when I’m not writing. To not be thinking about my stories, lost in my own world, when I needed to be present – both in body and mind – for them. He said he knew writers whose relationships ended because they couldn’t leave “it” alone when they needed to be in the moment.
My family is giving me time and opportunity to live my dreams and I certainly want to really be with them when I’m not working. Tonight this advice comes to me as I am closing up my work for the evening. I feel eager to start again, but I know tomorrow I have an event at the high school which will take up my entire day. So I end this night remembering to be present so that tomorrow the experience will yield a time of bonding instead of me just being a warm body in the crowd.