It’s no secret on this blog that I sometimes find motherhood a little overwhelming. Usually writing is my escape. Neil Simon puts it well:
Writing is an escape from a world that crowds me. I like being alone in a room. It’s almost a form of meditation- an investigation of my own life.
But I’m not content just writing. I have goals. I want my writing to go somewhere in addition to taking me somewhere. Because of that, I have to do more than just writing. Here are some other tasks that are a part of “the craft”:
reading books about writing
familiarizing myself with books in the current market
building a writing resume
publicizing published work
researching and submitting to publishers and agents
planning for and hosting events
meeting with my critique group
I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing. And as I scroll back through the list, I can feel the sizable elephant getting comfy, the one that usually sits on my chest. With other demands, my writing time is limited. Often to as little as ten minutes a day. So how am I supposed to get all of it done? And write new stuff too?
The truth is that sometimes I don’t get all of it done. Sometimes I don’t even get some of it done. But I try to cut myself some slack. So, I count every little thing that involves writing as accomplishing writing. When I spend lunch time writing notes about my next book between trips to the kitchen, I’ve done some writing. When I check my email and write a quick comment on a friend’s blog post, I’ve done some writing. When I look up a new word in the dictionary or read a picture book to my son or jot an idea down in my notebook, all of those little bits of writing add up. So even if I only get to sit down and write for ten minutes, the work I accomplish is much more than that.
And each of those little breaks is an escape. It helps me recharge as a mom too, so I feel a little less overwhelmed in that department. Writing, despite the work it takes, rarely feels like a job. My next task is to find the trick to making motherhood feel this way too.
Here are some other blogs and websites related to feeling overwhelmed: