I have written less in the last 5 months than I have in my life but I have professionally accomplished a lot more. Motherhood has shown me that it is impossible to do any task the way it used to be done. Rather than leisurely write in the morning with fresh hot coffee, I now do everything in quick spurts. Writing is now a drive-by word ambush, but that doesn’t mean I am not getting anywhere. In fact, I have zero time to sit with my inner critic while my second coffee makes me second guess myself and anxiousness about my work begins to palpitate inside me. I have gotten serious about calling myself a writer, even though my laptop sits open on the kitchen table awaiting a flurry of hit and run sentences and my office has been converted into a nursery. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
After completing 3 edits and submitting my manuscript 10 days before my due date I spent the beginning months of my son’s life with a lot of beautiful winter days to do little else but think. This new, emotionally charged role change has given me so much inspiration that I can’t wait to be working through in more detail. While I am often delayed in the act I have realized there are ways to be “writing” when I can’t be writing. This is what I’m doing:
· I made 3 character and one concept mind map for my new book idea. Since thoughts can be penned quickly to loose, labelled paper that is left laid out, or taped to a wall.
· I created a living list in my phone of words that I want to use.
· I added all new literature-based bookmarks to my home screen and updated my email signature. I also invested in having quality photos taken.
· I keep my car radio on CBC. This keeps my inspiration at an all-time high. When I randomly catch book shows like, “The Next Chapter” or “Writer’s & company” I am giddy and in awe at the level of literature that Canada produces, although every show provides me with take-aways. Recently I discovered the musician Patrick Watson on CBC and have since been listening nonstop, evoking even more creative inspiration.
· I made this website, which truth be told sometimes involved me editing it with one thumb on my phone, in the dark, while a baby slept on my chest like a ticking time bomb.
· My reading time has also changed drastically. Now I put books everywhere. Night stand, side tables, glove box, diaper bag, bathroom cupboard. I keep devouring them.
Becoming a Mom has shown me an extreme dichotomy where I am fully encompassed by caring for another and also yearning to care for and protect my identity outside of that. It has never been clearer to me that reading and writing is a way for me to make sense of the world. To feel connected to the self, I need to do it. Like sleep, when it happens, I can also take better care of others. There is no sense letting one calling dwindle, when another is fulfilled.
I hope you will follow along and subscribe to receive news about my latest work as it continues to unfold.