Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still Slacking into September

I've been AWOL! How did that happen?

A story to illustrate the state of the union chez moi. The kids came home from one of the first few days of school last week with this story. Paraphrasing:
"Mommy, the exhaust pipe fell off the bus this morning so we had to get on the high school bus and she turned the wrong way on the highway and then we had to do the last part of our route backwards."
Disclaimer: wrong way means not the way the route should go, not as in going south in the northbound lane, which sadly happens a few times a year around here.

What does that illustrate? It's like a metaphor for my writing life the last couple months!

Yep, my exhaust pipe fell off somewhere. What writing have I done recently? Ahem, nothing. Between volunteer jobs taking over my life, going to work very part time (more on that in another post), dealing with regular family maintenance, and stupid allergies that make me look and feel like I've had about 2 hours sleep--oh wait a second, sometimes that might be true--I haven't had an inch of head space for writing projects.

And now I feel guilty about that. 

You know all that writing advice that says stuff like just write? make it a priority? you've got to treat it like a job? do it everyday? writers write? just plant your heiney in a chair and get writing? Yeah, I hear it and it makes sense but when I just can't manage it I feel like a bit of a failure.

Sometimes your family has to come first. Sometimes they need to be fed. Sometimes they need you to help them put Barbie's hair in a ponytail. Sometimes you have to work to make money to pay the bills. Sometimes you have to step up to help with extra curricular activities your kids love or they won't be available. Sometimes you just have to catch a few moments enjoying the sunshine and your flowers and watch the vibrant green of summer turn to the mellow gold of fall or you'll go insane. 

But I'm trying to claw my way back to writing. Maybe now that the kids are back into a school routine I might have a bit more time to write some days. Maybe the volunteer duties will settle down for a bit. Maybe the first frost will come soon and kill all the nasal and sinus irritating pollen producing plants. 

My return to writing feels awkward and sporadic and like I'm coming at it all backwards right now. But maybe one day I'll find all this supposed distraction sowed some good seeds, gave me some fantastic fodder, for future writing. Or am I just kidding myself? 

Time will tell. But in the meantime, if you're a writer who sometimes feel like this, let's not beat ourselves up too much. Okay?

6 comments:

LMacL said...

Good to have you back! Missed ya. Really hope your allergies get under control. Good luck with all aspects of your multi-faceted life, especially your writing.

Dianne said...

I hear you! Glad to know I'm not the only one struggling. The weird thing is I want to write, I feel better when I'm writing, and yet it's still so hard to get at it! Baby steps I guess. I'm trying for one night a week now. And celebrating successes (as in getting something written) instead of bemoaning failures. Good luck!

Lizann Flatt said...

Thank you very much LMacL and Dianne. Glad I was missed :> and here's to your goal of one night a week Dianne. Good luck with it and count me in as celebrating your successes with that routine.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Welcome back! And don't feel bad; everyone needs to take a break once in a while, and I think those weeks off will have sown some good seeds.

I encourage you to try starting a routine - any routine that you think you can manage, be it writing for an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays or writing every day from the time your kids get on the bus up until lunch. Make it something that you think you can manage, and don't feel guilty about the slip-ups. We all have them!

Catherine said...

I didn't write much of late, either, Lizann. At first I called it "letting the story simmer" and "waiting for my muse" but now I think "slacking" might be the correct term. I'll take your advice and not beat myself up about it this time.

Lizann Flatt said...

Thanks, Ishta. I hope you're right about those seeds. I'm going to have to try the routine thing too.

Catherine, don't let me talk you out of "letting the story simmer" because I think that's a valid state. But no matter what it is, here's to both of us accepting and moving on.