Saturday, July 7, 2012

Do as Tim Gunn would do...

and "make it work."

Lots of my friends ask me how I manage to find time to write, or how I'm able to balance it all. I'm married, I have a four year-old, I have a full time job teaching, I teach part time for MSDE, I have a cupcake company (Dolce Fiore Cupcakes) that does weddings, and I write. I also like breathing once in a while.

This is NOT intended to sound like I'm bragging. If anything, it's to expose one of my short-comings, which is balance. You'd think, as a Libra, that I'd be better at that. But my scales are always tipping to either bored or overwhelmed. And I'd rather be overwhelmed, personally.

My writer friends never ask me how I balance it all -- this is because, like me, my writer friends are already balancing. It's what we do. It's what we have to do.

A similar question I get a lot is, "You've got so much on your plate. Shouldn't you put off the writing thing until Max is in school/life slows down/the apocolypse?"

And, to that, I say no. Why? Because I have to write. In fact, I have very little choice in the matter.

When I had my son, I suffered from post-partum depression. I'd had issues with anxiety before, but this was a whole other animal. Part of it was due to a trauma during childbirth that prevents me from delivering more children. But a lot of it was because, by nature, I like to be busy and productive. In some ways, there is nothing less productive, less goal oriented, less satisfied than an infant. I've said a million times that I would adopt a dozen kids if they were sixteen -- there's a reason why I teach high school.

I love my son. I wouldn't change a thing about him or my life. But when he was six weeks old, I packed a bag to leave. My mom was staying with me and she talked me back from my ledge. The thought was there, though. I wanted to run away, run back in time, and try to find myself again. I felt completely changed and unable to grasp who I was.

So I started to write.

I hadn't written in years -- and when I had, it had been poetry, not fiction. Writing a novel gave me a chance to focus on something that wasn't me, wasn't a baby, wasn't my life. It gave me a place to run to.

Writing saved my life. Writing helped me be a mother. Writing gave me back an identity. So, should I put it off? Should I wait until I have more time? Not in a million years.

Sometimes I think writing takes me away from other things -- like right now, when my son is bouncing around and I could be bouncing, too. But, honestly, even if it takes me away to my own worlds now and then, it brought me back to life in ways I can't possibly verbalize. It made me wake up in the morning. It made me dream.

So, no. I'll always be writing because my family deserves to have me here. And I deserve to be happy. I make it work -- just like everyone else I know does. It's what you do to make your dream reality.

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