The Three-Wick Candle

There’s an old saying about burning the candle at both ends that’s somehow become a theme in my life. And not just now. When I was in my twenties my mom would get on me about cutting myself some slack and taking a break, and one time when she called to ask how I was doing I said “I think the candle sprung another wick.”

Can you guess what I got for Christmas that year?

Needless to say, I haven’t really slowed down since. Well, I suppose I slowed down a bit while I was in Mexico, but I’m completely back to my pre-sabbatical pace. (I can call that a sabbatical, right?) I’m baffled when people my age say that they’re bored, or that they spent an entire day watching television, or slept in until the afternoon. Don’t they have THINGS to do?

The downside of burning all three wicks is something usually has to give. Right now it’s my writing. I’m thinking about my story every single day, and the subplots are bouncing around in my mind, but I haven’t written anything new and it’s really getting frustrating. I know many of you will say to just sit down and write, and I’m really trying. I WANT to write.

It’s just those other wicks are very demanding.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. I was going to make a lame joke about getting one of those faux candles that burns on its own so you’re free to write, but yeah, it was lame…


    You’ll get there! Feeling that deep deep need and frustration is just the thing to lead a writer to writing. I think soon you’ll find the right circumstance to just sit down and do it.

    • I like that idea! Then I also don’t have to worry about Owen running through the fire…

      I agree with you about the frustration. The fact that I WANT to write is certainly a good sign.

  2. Writing doesn’t have to be physically staring at a page, of course. Try using a voice recorder during your commute or on your lunch break walk to get some ideas down. Anything to move the story forward so you can clear your mind to do other things – like shop for candles.

    • Y’all are determined to get me using a voice recorder, aren’t you? I suppose it would be helpful. I’ve actually been building the next scene in my head and am working out a few details, so it’ll fly out of me yet.

      Now time to shop!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *