So last week I went to a three day writers conference. It was really good, informative, all those good things a three days writers conference should be. I took a lot of notes and I got some cards and I met some people.
And then I came home.
And I woke up the next morning, super early, intending to write. Instead I sat there staring out of the window drinking my coffee. And I pretty much had only one word running through my head, a constant stream over and over again.
Fuck...fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Because I don't have time to have a writing career, like they said it takes. And I don't have the fancy degree. I don't know all the fancy people. I don't even know who the fancy people are. I don't have energy to do the creative writing. Not properly at least. I heard a writer on a panel talk about how they would spend three months writing a short story revising and revising and revising. Or how you might go through 27 draft to get a poem perfect. What???? 27 drafts??!! I can't do that! I have energy to get up in the morning do some laundry teach the kids sweep the floor do some gardening outside ... that's it. Maybe I might paint. Maybe I might make felted bunny. Maybe I might write for 30 minutes. Do a blog post.
So. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.
And it's not just that I'm lazy, which I am. It's also that I am, you know, pushing THAT age. And here I am with no career. Not a career in the area in which I do have a masters degree from the fancy school. Not a career in the novel writing world which I kind of always thought, yeah someday I'll do that. Not knowing you should publish short stories and mingle and know people.
After a day of sulking I got up off the couch, did some laundry, hoed out some garden beds, weeded and raked and made a anti-tick/mosquito lotion and felt mildly better.
So what if I don't have an MFA degree. So what if I don't know the fancy people. I can still write an entertaining story. I still have decent ideas. I'm a decent writer.
Read more. Write more. Work hard. Etc.
And I have had a little bit of a career. I've done things, I've taught, I've got plans for more.
But man. I was seriously paralyzed for two days. Dada was like, wasn't it great??? Aren't you psyched?? And I was like, no seriously, don't talk to me.
I don't know. Does it come back to the mama/career pull? I guess so. I want to have BOTH, excel at BOTH. And I mess up, and I yell, and get crabby, and don't handle situations right, but, I am a good mama. I try hard. Love hard. And those three little people, playing outside right now, are pretty damn cool.
So, there is that.
But I want to have meetings. I want conference calls. I want a reason to buy a suit. I want to be helpful, put myself out there, contribute my ideas to the world of stories. And I want to travel more. I want to travel again, rather. I want my kids to see me doing things that build the world, that contribute, that are meaningful to me.
And and and...
Fuck fuck fuck.
And an old classmate from college announced she has cancer. A mama herself. And I think. Damn. I want a suit? I'm crabbing about not having a second fancy degree?
And I suck.
The pull of all that out there, necessary at times to acknowledge, can't diminish what is here. Staring me in the face. Early. Demanding I read a Dora book before I've had my coffee. (NOOOOOOOO!)
And yet, but, it doesn't have to be enough, I mean right, I can be content with mama-hood and still legitimately yearn for more, right? Do they have to be exclusive sets of feelings? Does it have to be either/or? Can't they be interwoven, complex, each feeding the other, making each other better, stronger, more meaningful?
I think so.
Contented me, fulfilled, recharged equals contented mama. And I get a lot of that contentment on the Homefront, but also, from being creative, feeling a bit more out there, valued for my mind as much as my ability to make the perfect grilled cheese.
So. My thoughts for today.