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!