A writer friend and I were recently talking about the need to write, to have your own work active and going strong, to have a regular appointment with your desk.
I commented that working on the novel really makes me feel like I "have a life", separate from the demands of parenting and work.
She replied that when those demands and distractions become most urgent is when having a "writing life" is most important, to give you perspective, and a sense of meaning beyond putting out daily fires. She said that a teacher of hers always said, "Writing is life or death."
This week I begin my new fall schedule, and a session of writing each week is on it. I will attend, and if work overtakes those hours occasionally, it won't be death, but most usually, when I get to writing, it will be a little extra life.