September 20, 2011

Flow.

I haven't blogged in forever. And I don't know who's reading this. I don't blame you if you've given up on me. I did too for a while as I settled into life as a new mother. My little beauty is now 14 months old and I can't believe how fast these past months have flown by. It's been a delight and a privelege to bring my little nuggett into the world, to see her grow and develop, to wake up to her smiling face every morning and to see what new wonder each day will bring.

It was hard for me to focus on anything else for months besides being the best mom to my little girl that I could. But, as I settled into this new role, the other part of me that I had neglected for so long, began to resurface. At first it came in the form of a nagging itch, a constant reminder that I had an entire interior life waiting to bust out, to find its way onto the page. But I didn't quite know how to let it out. When I was away from the babe, my thoughts remained with her. I found myself obsessively perusing the hundreds (thousands?) of pics of her I have stored in iphoto (note: practically every night, my husband and I review the latest pics and videos of E as soon as she goes to sleep. maybe it's a way to hold on to her a little longer, or to transition to the nest part of our evening as a couple. a couple with a dog. that's when Rocky really gets his cuddle on).

A few months back I took on some freelance jobs writing and consulting. They were mostly creative gigs. It wasn't just the allure of money that inspired me to do them. It was also a way to tap back into that part of myself in short bursts with hard set deadlines that were easily achievable. My hope was at the same time, it would remind me how much I loved my own projects. Namely, my unfinished book.

For some reason, this book got caught up in the melee of a difficult early pregnancy, and then pushed to the backburner as I figured out this thing called motherhood. I even went as far as starting a new book rather than going back to this unfinished business.

But then, something happened. Or, a few things happened. My agent read my manuscript and gave me a fresh perspective on the most recent draft. I reread my editorial letter, which was concise and wonderful and inspiring, as my editor was able to capture and understand just what I wanted this book to be, while giving me great suggestions for how to get there. And finally, I found a way to carve out some time every day (or at least monday-friday) to devote to this draft. It's just like going back to the gym after a prolonged absence I told myself. You don't just jump on the treadmill and run 5 miles at your fastest time after sitting on a couch for months. Maybe you don't even run at first. You walk. Maybe you spend more time stretching, or in the shower than you do working out. But you show up. And then you show up again. And then one day, before you know it, you're in it. Your characters come alive and start speaking to you in the shower, while you're driving or pushing your baby around in the stroller. While you sleep.
And you're reminded why you wrote this book in the first place. You're reminded why you call yourself a writer.
This is where I am right now. In love with the process. Happy to be here. Grateful that I get to do this every day. And grateful that I have that smiling face waiting for me every afternoon when I'm done.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad that things are going well! Hope to see another book from you some day soon though :)

Marie Yancey @ Split-Site PhD said...

There is nothing more important than focusing on taking care of your children. It is really hard to finish a book. It is even harder when life always finds new and creative ways to interfere with your work. Sometimes in positive ways and sometimes in negative ways. This is a great ending to your story.


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