Writing Motherhood, Part I

18 Jun

All of a sudden, I have too many writing books going! Besides Pen On Fire by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, I’ve been working my way through Christina Katz’s Writer Mama, finally got Brian Kiteley’s The 3 A.M. Epiphany, and just picked up another promising writing book for moms at the library this morning–Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues. I’ve only had the chance to read the foreword to Writing Motherhood so far, but I really like how the author compares the obstacles we face as mommy writers to rocks in a river. She says we need to be like river rafts and bounce off of our excuses for not writing, rebounding and redirecting our energies into the determination to keep at it no matter what is going on around us. And so, inspired by this metaphor, I wrangle my laptop from my persistent toddler’s death grip, put him in his highchair, feed him lunch, and hope that I can find a few minutes to write this blog between his nap and any home showings that might come up this afternoon. 

If there is anything consistent about a mother’s life, it’s inconsistency. I miss attending my college classes and churning out an article every other week when I was a student columnist. I can’t wait to go back in August. It seemed as if I got more writing done when I had more to do. Well, I still have a lot to do with keeping the house picked up and my five very active kids’ schedules running smoothly, but I’m afraid my lofty writing goals for the summer are going by the wayside. I can certainly see them veering in that direction at breakneck speed as I’ve allowed the demands of maintaining a pristine home while it’s on the market consume my time. Windexing away fingerprints and sweeping and vacuuming floors all day long is not my idea of personal fulfillment. I guess it’s time to carve out my writing time again, reclaim it and put it back on the “To Do” list. Garrigues says, “If you let the obstacles in your life–dishes, diapers, dirty laundry, just plain doubt–mount one on top of the other, you will create a hurdle so high that you will never be able to clear it. If instead you learn to manuever around the obstacles, bumping into some, bouncing off others, like a raft navigating a river, sooner or later you will get where you want to go. In the process, you will become more agile, more resilient, more resolute.” I think it’s time for me to get bouncing!

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