Back to the Grind: Focus, Reflection, Routine

It turns out my dear I need you more than you need me.

This is what I can say of writing and my return to some blogging. Even if I took a break from the blog, I didn't stop writing (or parenting). However, from time to time I need some space for reflection. I've always been fascinated by other writers' writing processes almost as much as the writing. But at the end of the day, (and this nearly everyone knows at least by the time they are in their 30s), it's what works for you.

Like all things in motherhood, learning flexibility for me has been critical to the enjoyment of the moment AND, as is the case sometimes, the endurance and temperament needed for a moment. I never knew just how inflexible I was until I became a mother. 

Or indeed how much time I wasted before I was a mother. Or how much time I still waste as a mother except now it's somehow justifiable in our current tech age. I can waste hours researching nap transitions, the best convertible car seats, reading what others have done for a first year birthday party. Facebook. And yet... what did mothers do before the advent of technology to doubt and gnaw at them, aggravate and even relieve them sometimes?

Corot, Camille. Hagar in the Wilderness, 1835 Metropolitan Museum of Art

I am always flickering back and forth between one thing and another.  Write a line. Look at daughter. Read a line. Look back at baby... what is she holding? Read two lines. Call about a medication, a dentist appointment, make a list. Check phone. Did she put in that in her mouth? Take it out of her mouth. Read a word. Time for lunch.

Focus. Reflect. Routine?

At least I've instilled some focus, routine and reflection in my daughter. M is adamant about her morning routine, which without fail includes taking out all of her books and flipping through them.

Dear C, I love her so much! I'm so glad we created her. S

During my hiatus from the blog, I focused on a September writing challenge. That spilled over into an invitation to The Grind, which is another writing challenge. Write everyday, without fail, for the month of October, and hold yourself accountable to the other writers in your group, who are permitted to scorn you if you fail and you let them down. 

Also, in September I did something I never do - which is write quickly and send work out more regularly. And especially send poems out that are relevant to our historical moment. One of these poems, After the Storm, written about Hurricane Harvey, found a home quickly in Rise Up Review (which is to say within three weeks of writing it). I loathe sending work out - it's tedious and I'd much rather be writing, but what writer doesn't feel that way?

Though I could not have foreseen this change, since motherhood I've become a more organized, focused writer using scraps of time where I can find them, and at other times being very intentional and protecting time I've allotted to writing.  I allocate about 4 hours a week to writing. Anything over that is a bonus, but I always squeeze in more. It's worth mentioning also that as a writer I believe in seasons which is to say I believe that some times things need to lie fallow for me and no writing happens. Other times are richly productive. A recent read, How Motherhood Affects Creativity, has felt indeed true in my current situation.

What else might M teach me that I don't know?

It turns out my dear I need you as much as you need me.


Contact Form


Email *

Message *