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?