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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I came to my computer today to find that somehow, 1300 words had been eaten up, destroyed, banished to the existential ether. The counter to the right (11592) reflects that loss.

On top of that, my schedule, as I knew it would be, is insane right now. Under normal circumstances, this is rough month anyway. Whoever decided November was a good month for this is not a wife, homemaker, or any species like unto it. Add to that the fact that I have not one, but two children’s birthdays: an every-year occurance for me. Then we add the fact that my mother in law arrives next friday. This is a life altering occurance.

We are preparing her apartment downstairs now. I want it to be warm and inviting, to tell her that she is welcome here. To say that we’ve prepared a place in our home for her to reside with our family for the rest of our lives.

It is kind of like marriage. There should be a ritual or something. Except that in this case, there is no overwhelming sense of love, compatibility, and lust driving us to want to be together. It is simply duty.

Truth be told, this is not a ‘match’ I would ever choose. In a life where we were not thrown together by family, I am not sure if we would choose to be friends. This is not to say that she isn’t a good woman. One the contrary, there are many qualities in her that admire. But we are different personalities as well as different generations, from very different cultures.

I’m scared.

But neither of these facts are good enough reasons not to let her into our house. She needs a home and family, and we are the ones best able to fulfill those needs. It would be immoral for us not to take her in.

She has given up everything but three bags to be with her sons and grandchildren here. She does not speak English. She is moving from being in charge of her life to being dependent. From the quiet of living alone to living with four children.

I am hoping to bridge the gap by taking up activities we can do together, such as paper craft. We both know how to sew, though she is the far better seamstress. So I will take her to fabric stores, especially the quilting shops that have so many delicious patterns. Perhaps we will find some other common ground.

It is not just time that I lack for writing this novel. It is literally brain processing power. Getting the words down onto the paper or screen is one of the last tasks of writing. Before that is the creative hopscotch of piecing together a story, crafting character, imagining a setting, and scripting dialogue. That takes a lot of thinking. So I ask myself, especially after today’s setback, if I should stick with the program and push it to the max or call it quits before it both leeches off my energy and I fail. Will I succeed if I push it?

If someone could tell me right now that I would succeed, I would do it. I think. Would it be worth it? What would my prize be, and what would be the cost?

Should I call it winning if I simply managed to write most days of the week?

After all, this isn’t a whim to write the single novel I will ever write. This is an exercise in discipline.

I sat at a table with a group of talented writers once, none of them yet published. I sat there knowing that many of those would never be published. The one single factor that would be the difference between those of us who went on to publish our works was determination to write and market our stories.

If I stop now, will that prove that I don’t have the determination? Is that an irrational fear that will lead me to burnout by the end of this month? Is there a way to do this and avoid emotional burnout?

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