I am a mom.
I am either a great writer or a great mom. But rarely both. And it’s a tightrope of guilt.
At this point, I’ve whittled down all other hobbies/interests/passions because my hours are spoken for. Any chance I had of learning to paint is on the retirement hobby list now. And somehow, there’s still a shortage of hours in my day.
Let me say, my kids bring me great joy. Definitely. Of course. Most of the time. Now that that’s out of the way, the truth is, I’ve never been ok with being just a mom. (I know, I know. Moms everywhere are rolling their judgy eyes. Just a mom?!?! I realize how it sounds) We aren’t supposed to admit it but motherhood is the termite of self-identity, niggling into our foundation and thinning us out.
Not that this is bad. Motherhood takes over because, many times, there’s nothing I’d rather do than roll on the floor with my two year old. Not do dishes, tone my abs or train for a marathon (haha. Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that stuff anyway.) and not write the next great American novel.
But it’s times like summer vacation when I realize how very contradictory my two passions are. Hmm, edit chapter 6 or get the wildling grommets out of the house before they start setting LEGO booby traps.
(On that note, writing and a toned butt are also currently duking it out. Luckily, I hate exercise and could happily write and eat m&m’s for hours so it’s not much of a fight).
Can’t I be fun, energetic, tanned, active, involved mom but also be reclusive, obsessed, pale, moody writer? Gawwwd, Kelly! Step up your game.
And when is “being busy” an easy excuse for not applying myself to my work? And when is it ok to put a dream on hold to spin my wheels picking up toys, wiping noses and reading Little Blue Truck for the 1000th time? And shouldn’t I always be joyful to do these insanity-inducing motherhood tasks? Because a truly great mother would. 🤨
Damn you, selfish self!
Btw, if anyone has any pearls of wisdom, lay em on me. Because sadly, this summer, I’m choosing great(ish) mom and by the time bedtime rolls around, I can’t even form full sentences.
Also, this is my summer reading… 😣
Ernest Hemingway once said “Write drunk, edit sober.”
One of my writerly friends says, “Write drunk, edit on caffeine” Pret-ty kitschy and more up my alley. I already edit on caffeine so…
I decided to test this theory, like, track it, test it, tie one on. 🍺🍻🍷🍸🍾🍹🍶 Oh, the things we do for science. 🤷🏼♀️
(Side note: There are A LOT of really great drinking memes. Don’t writers have better things to do? Doh. Guess not.🙄)
To be fair, I’ve inadvertently tested this drunk writing theory back in college. The result was lackluster and barely legible poetry. Overall, a fail. But I’ve grown, evolved, matured. Obviously.
Testing drunken-writing is probably not a true measure of maturity.
If alcohol lubricates social anxiety, couldn’t it also grease the wheels of creativity? Then, it occurred to me that many great and brilliant authors are/were alcoholics. This is either a 👍🏻 for alcohol or a 👎🏻 for writing.
For sake of research, let’s hypothesize that alcohol triggers creativity (with a few grammatical errors) and set the experiment parameters. This is very scientific after all.
1. While writing, I will track the time and alcohol consumption in 20 minute increments.
2. I’ll have to judge the material myself, with a sober set of eyes, because I can’t imagine letting someone else do it. Unedited?!?! Chah!
3. No distractions. This is no party! This is a rigorous experiment that requires I imbibe alone and diligently. No funny business.
4. When I sense a particular profoundness happen, I’ll mark it. My college inebriated poetry always felt brilliant… Until the next day. So here, I’m testing my drunken judgement of quality. Think beer goggles. (This could be the most embarrassing part of the experiment.)
5. Lastly, as I write, I’ll note the speed and ease (or maybe incessant brain-stalling) with which ideas are hatched as well as the inspiration to keep going. All the creativity of JR Tolkien doesn’t help if all you want to do it watch “This Is Us” and eat Red Vines… Not that I would know or anything.
Ready… Commence the spirits! And remember, I’m doing this for you.
It’s that time of year again! Time to careen into January full of gusto and resolve. So what if we sputter halfway into February. That’s a whole month (and one twelfth of a year) of progress. That has to be worth something!
It seems like just yesterday I was writing last years new years blog, “Resolutions” Don’t Work. I get really excited about this. My readers, all five of them, know that New Years is one of my favorite holidays.
Once, I saw something on HONY (for those of you that are not up on HONY, I’m obsessed with him. It stands for Humans of New York and this photojournalist, Brandon Stanton, walks the streets and takes people’s pictures, telling little bits of their conversation. I’ve followed him for years and its always poignant and powerful and I feel he miraculously reveals a bit of soul in two or three lines of conversation. Readers, all five of you, follow him! You’ll thank me.)
So back to my point… Years ago, there was a post of a woman. She said something like… (Excuse the lack of verbatim. This is how I remember it.)
“I have this theory. We are all given the same amount of time but time is a subjective concept. So if things in our lives are always changing, it feels like we get “more” time.” Continue reading
Writing, for most, is not their day job. I do write for a living and therefore feel entitled to this sketchy analogy.
Writing for work (aka your day job) and writing for fun (aka your literary masterpiece) are like having a child or a puppy, respectively. With your child, you have a schedule. School, dentists, doctors and soccer games. If you don’t make your deadlines, you’ll have CPS or a truancy board after you.
But your novel is like a puppy. It was a choice that brings you great joy and anguish and tests your discipline and resolve. And you can be as diligent as you want (as long as you feed it) If you do a lazy job raising your puppy, you’ll just have a jerk of a dog.
After a long day of parenting, training a puppy doesn’t rank high on the joy list. Just as, after a long day of work, carving out a couple hours to work on our manuscript sounds exhausting (especially if you’re STILL editing 😞)
It’s easy to put it off. And then put it off again. Because there’s always tomorrow, right?
Welllllll, let me tell you the difference between work writing and hobby writing for me.
This is great if you are UBER disciplined. You have probably already put yourself on a schedule. You’re probably already adhering to your deadlines. (Good. For. You.) and (Whatever.)
But if you’re like me, Continue reading
Brene Brown keeps bobbing on my radar from random places.
That’s what the universe does. It smacks me over the head with something when I’m not listening.
Ok, universe. I get the message (because I have nothing but time) but actually I’m a little obsessed with her ideas.
I don’t love the idea of vulnerability cause that sounds awful. I’m developmentally stunted in it for sure. But if it promises to be as fulfilling as all these people think… well, what the heck, right?