Who are You Doing it For? – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Who are You Doing it For?

Last week, I was highly annoyed at the fact that I had to drive my daughter to a friend’s house for a party, and one of my sons to another friend’s house for a hang-out. All I wanted to do was to sit down and write, and these activities were getting in my way.

I found myself thinking, “Man, if I didn’t have a family, I would have SO MUCH MORE time to write.”

But then I analyzed that thought. If I didn’t have a family, yes, I truly would have a lot more time to write. I would have all day long–aside from the few hours I would need to work to cover my expenses–because I would have no one to make me wash the dishes, clean the house, drive anyone anywhere, and so on.

That word “alone” is the one that stands out, however. If I was alone, I would have all the time I wanted, but why would I be writing? Sure, there’s always the passion of writing, but passion wanes quickly when faced with hard work. Without a family, I don’t think I would put as much into the writing as I am today.

See, the fact that I have very little time to invest in my writing means that I need to make the time I have count. Instead of getting distracted, I shut out everything but my music and my book, and I use the little time I get to be as productive as possible. Even if it’s just an hour, by God, I’m going to make it the best hour I can.

If I lived alone, I would have no need to be productive. I could allow the story to flow and write as I saw fit, taking a break when I lost the desire to write and coming back to it when I “felt it” again. But if I did that, I doubt I would ever get anything done.

Having a family is what drives me to be the best writer I can be. I am currently supporting my family of six, but I’m tired of my day job. I want to support my family doing what I love, which is writing fiction. In order to do that, I have to earn enough money to cover our expenses. To earn enough money, I need to have a book or books that sell well. If I want my books to sell well, they need to be top quality products. Hence me putting in the work of making the books as EPIC as I can.

Another thought struck me that same day: if I didn’t have a family, I would have no one to share my achievements with. Even if I wrote a best-selling novel and became a millionaire overnight, I wouldn’t be able to turn to my wife (like I can now) and say “Look what I did!”

So, while my family may stop me from writing, they’re also the thing that pushes me to be the best writer I can be. Without them, I’d be nothing, and they make me what I am today. They are the reason I am doing it.

Thank you all!

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3 Comments

  1. So, I’m going to be as tactful here as I can, but I’m not always good at that, so take it FWIW. 🙂

    I don’t have kids yet, and I’ve been blessed with a window of opportunity to write full time and get my business going. Let me say this: it’s a huge blessing and I take advantage of every single hour I can write. But at the same time, there’s a definite hole. There’s something MORE out there than just writing, and sometimes the long quiet hours by myself make that painfully obvious. Besides, I still run the house, support my husband at his intense job, and take care of our two fur babies. So even though I am home to write, there’s still stuff to be done. There’s always STUFF, no matter what. Not to mention there’s really only so many hours I can write non stop before my brain wants to explode. Seriously. Even if I have the day before me, 4-5 hours of nonstop marketing, emailing, writing, and creativity feels like a 12 hour shift mentally (I know, I’m also an RN 🙂 and I have to take a break. Also, if I work TOO much, I get into tunnel vision, and have to take a few days off to remember why I write, what I want from the story, and why I just created a really big plot hole. Having kids and a family and a life to keep you from getting that tunnel-vision is actually kind of productive.

    So, anyway, the point is that while it’s awesome and great for me to write full time, it’s also awesome and great that your world lives on outside of your book. You live, and learn, and progress with that family. And although it’s frustrating (despite being home, I didn’t finish my other responsibilities until three o’clock today) to have other things take writing time away, isn’t it glorious to have a life too?

    This is a fabulous post, Andy. I always love what you have to say.

    • Which, I have to acknowledge, you also admit to beautifully at the end of this post, so I didn’t mean this as a lecture, more of a clap on the back and a ‘I hear ya, friend.’ 🙂

    • But just because you don’t have kids, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an AWESOME reason for writing.
      The truth is that it’s a trade-off–sort of what I was pointing out. I have little time but plenty of motivation, while others have lots of time or less motivation. Just trying to see the bright side in my situation. 😀

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