Friday, October 27, 2006

You Are Not Alone

Something important in maintaining your creativity as a mom, I think… being a part of a community that supports and encourages your creativity. One that holds you accountable for creating. One that can discuss with you the trials and tribulations of being creative, as well as the joys.

I don’t think you necessarily have to go back to art school or join a writing group or a crafting circle. I think even an online community can give you that push. Maybe it helps to have constraints on your creativity… as in write a novel in a month, or finish your painting by monday, or show the group what you have been crafting. As a mom, we put our needs last, a lot. But if we promise someone else that we will do something, maybe it’s easier for us to commit to those things.

I know I blow off my own personal goals to take care of things that affect other people. But what if someone else is watching what I produce creatively? What if they are depending upon it? What if they are keeping watch on my page count?

Somehow, I think it will help me stick to my goals.

I will tell you how this proceeds in a month, when I’ve finished my novel along with all the thousands of other people writing along with me on

Monday, October 23, 2006

So I am going to do NaNoWriMo

Write a novel in a month! I’ve wanted to do it in past years, but the timing has always been off.
This year, though, I have a novel idea, an outline, a character list, a setting and so on. I started it months ago, and then stopped it, months ago. Now, though, I am really feeling the pressure of time. I mean, I’m having ANOTHER baby in 4 or 5 months. If I don’t kick myself into gear, when will be my next opportunity? It’s not only the only timing there is, it’s the perfect timing. Yes, it will be a struggle, but when wouldn’t writing a novel be a struggle?
The whole thing really scared me when I first started. I have no concept of numbers at the level of 50,000. I thought I would need to be writing full time to write a novel in 30 days. But when I figured out that wriing 50,000pp in 30days means writing 1,776 words a day—and then I checked my writing log from the brief time when I was writing in this book, I realized I was already writing about one thousand words a day, in about an hour.
I wasn’t pushing myself past one page or one hour, either. So if I do push myself—then why can’t I tack on another hour, another thousand pages? I can do this. I’ve done this.
And you know what? Even if I don’t write 50,000 words, I will still have written more than if I didn’t take on the challenge. I will be much farther on my way to my first draft.
So, onwards and upwards. Writing is really the fine art of applying butt to chair, anyway. Who said that? Should give them a medal.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mothering the Mom

I had an idea about Mothering. Well, first off, why should being creative while being a mother be any different than being creative without kids, or as a man?

I think it’s because being creative at all means you have to tackle your demons—we all have them, but mothers have a certain set of demons in common, on top of their regular human being demons.

One issue is about taking care of others. Mothering. Raising children. We need to be mothers—and often, you’ll hear people saying that the children come first… so our identity as mothers is frequently considered the most important part of who we are.

Mothering isn’t just about hugs and kisses. We feed, we clean, we dress, we entertain, we educate, we praise, we punish, we set boundaries, we love. Every human being needs this. It’s hard to overcome lack of mothering—whoever one gets it from.

But I think we forget sometimes that we need mothering too. Not just the rewards and indulgences of unconditional love, but also the discipline, boundary setting, nourishing, and the daily preparing and maintenance that any mother gives those she is responsible for.

Who else is responsible for us? For our creative ambitions? For our art? We are.

What does that mean to our art? I think a lot, I’m still working on everything that means, but right now, I am definitely in the world of boundaries and accountability.

If I am to mother my creativity, my artist self, then I need to say, “no more tv, time to get to work, even if you are tired and would rather snack on chocolate and rot your brain.” I need to require more of myself than relaxing because I am so worn from mothering everyone else all day. I need to set myself some goals, and then, hold myself to them.

Writing To Do Lists is on my To Do List

Planning my day is the first step in getting my productivity and creativity and, well, life back.

Organizing my mind so that I can see what I need to do. For me, that takes lists. Looking at my apartment, you would never guess that I was relatively organized—or maybe that I need organization to function, but I do.

There are so many thoughts going through my head that it is hard to grab ahold of one and make it come real. This is why I need lists. This is why I need to decide on priorities and on schedules. And I always know what I need to do when I do not have the time to do it.

When I am ready to do stuff, I can’t for the life of me remember what I wanted to do.

Brains are funny that way. They’re so amorphous and immediate—like brie flashes of life, but living is very concrete and set in steps… this to that to the other to the next step. I don’t know if that makes sense, it’s my amorphous brain trying to get across an idea I had for one, brief moment.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Start All Over Again

I haven’t written in so long. I am so out of it. Out of practice. Out of the mindset. Out of the story. Out of focus.

I am so lazy right now. My energy is drained. My time is occupied. I am FULL of excuses, though.

Just saw the writer Jennifer Egan on a talk show, talking about writing and how she never knows where her story is going. She lives in Brooklyn and has two kids. Makes me want to write again. Makes me want to be a writer again.

I am afraid to start all over again. Not “start all over again,” because I still have my ideas and my first chapter, but I am afraid to START—again.

Time to battle the demons. Time to commit to action. Time to pick up the sword (pen, keyboard, whatever) and attack.

Time to stop talking about.

I promise, after I post this, I will open up my novel file and just start writing—even typing at this point is acceptable—just to get the words flowing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...