This morning's neighborhood walk found me feeling guilty and stressed because I have large proofreading projects to finish before leaving town for the much-needed family vacation in the cabin in the woods ... to include trips into the city to go to Omaha's Zoo and Lincoln Children's Museum.
So I found Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic podcast series on my phone and walked to the grocery store for snacks for co-op today. I also needed Sudafed ... the kind that makes meth that I have to give my driver's license for ... but the pharmacy was closed. I wonder at what point they start to question if I am buying too much but I do have a family of 7 so ...
Episode 1 was "Do What Ignites Your Soul" ... and Gilbert called someone who had posed a question to her. The question was how do you do what you want and write what you want to write when you have kids and also when your extended family is not supportive of what you are writing?
Wow, did that hit home.
So I homeschool 5 kids ranging from almost-6 to 14. It's a big job and I love it. I'm also married so there's that other main person in my life who takes a lot of my thought. If not for him, the house would be a pig sty and meals would be frozen waffles every night. He helps me to be better and to get out of ADD Creative Land, where I kind of want to live all the time. An example is that I want to just PLAY at homeschooling all the time and go places but he makes me realize there is also learning work to be done at home.
So there's that challenge of writing with people around, which we all have! Also I am a proofreader for money and I write articles for money. We need the money so I put off the writing for pleasure and income. This, to me, counts right now as writing.
Then there is the aspect of writing something like I want to write, the memoir of my 4 1/2 years with an abusive man and all the stuff that went with that. Stuff that I fear could get me shunned in my Catholic groups. I don't give a shit about myself being shunned but I don't want my kids to be shunned because of things I did over 20 years ago and because I chose to write about them and make them public. I'm sure my family also doesn't want anything to do with reading it or know it's out there. I would hate to read something written by one of my kids about a horrible situation they had been in!
But ... (1) I feel the need to get the story out and (2) a side benefit would be helping other women in my situation. (** after I published this post I realized I could always wait until my kids are grown to get it out there)
Okay, so then Gilbert CHANGED MY LIFE when she said there is a difference between the book you will write and the book you can publish.
Yes. This is what I needed to know. Thank you for that.
Permission to write my truth and then do what I want with it.
Next episode is with Cheryl Strayed of Wild fame and she's a mom who took off for 3 weeks to write and left little kids behind. Getting judgy like I was at first? Read tomorrow to see how this one went!