No Matter What – Day 6

If you are just joining us in the No Matter What Game, look for details on how to play after after the post.

 bob and penny you don't say

To preface Gillian’s question for today, I mentioned to her that last weekend after Bob proofread the post that kicked off No Matter What, his comment was “I’ve lost you again.”  This is a guy who has watched me work through a couple of 21 Day Dietary Detoxes, a 30 Day blogging challenge,  and a 1×31 Get Stuff Done challenge in the last year.  So he know of what he speaks!

G: How could you approach this challenge differently so that Bob doesn’t miss you so much?

P:  The challenge of spending quality time with loved ones versus spending time alone in order to create is something I think most artists/creative people struggle with.  It’s one of the reasons I’ve never married.  Artsy folks tend to have a different relationship to time, space, and reality in general than regular folks.

If you are a creative type, you know what I mean.  If you live with one, you also know what I mean.  And bless you.  I know we’re not the easiest people to live with.

The call to create is compelling.  The courage required to create is considerable.  And the consequences of not creating can be catastrophic.

I used to print out my posts and leave them on the table for Bob to read before he drank his coffee, digested the news, and prepared to leave the house at 7:15am.

He could consume in 3 minutes what it took me 3 hours to create.  And so it is with most creative work from movies to plays to concerts to books.

I love to linger after movies or finishing a book or attending a concert.  I want to watch it again, read it again, listen to it again.  I want to understand as much as I can about all of it. I want to know the back story.

I move slowly in a world that moves fast.  Attempting to alter my rhythm is very stressful for me.  I also get that my moving slowly and deliberately is very stressful to those who like to move quickly.  Like Bob.

But as a writer, I cannot afford to rush through life and miss the nuances and the tells that allow me to craft a story that rings true. I have to feel my way into the messiness of life.  I have to have time to think about my behavior and work out what it all means and why.

Whenever I commit to a challenge, there is a point when I melt down and want to forget the whole thing.  The first time I did a blogging challenge I hit a snag around Day 19.  It was the first day of school and a demanding day for administrators, advisors, and staff.  I came home late, slumped on the couch, and declared myself done for the day.

Bob said, “Honey, you need to do write.  I know you had a tough day but you’ll be really upset with yourself if you don’t write.”

Of course he was right.  I got up, dusted myself off, and posted my 500 words as if there was never a doubt I would.

In the end, I think our loved ones would rather have us create – even if it means time away from them – than resent them for the craziness that comes with not creating.

And since it’s football season followed by hunting season, Bob may not miss me at all. 🙂


What’s the No Matter What Game all about?  Click here to find out. If you’d like to jump in on the conversation, please do so by leaving a comment below.  If you’d like your own prompt delivered to you, you can contact Gillian at

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