3.06.2012

on writing

Sometimes when people ask me what I do, I'm bold, and I say that I write. I'm not that bold very often, but it happens sometimes. And then promptly I feel guilty, deceptive. Because here's the thing: I certainly don't make a living on writing--I don't make any money on writing currently. I write on this blog, and I write for myself, and I think about how much I'd love to be a bona fide writer.

Sometimes I feel like I spent all this time in college honing these skills that I love, and now they're sitting next to me, desperately wanting to be profitably used and recognized. Sometimes I feel that if my college professors and editing friends knew how much I'm not an editor or writer that I'd be letting them down. Sometimes I wonder if, in a professional sense, I'm letting my college self down. And I don't like that. At all.


Can I call myself a writer when I haven't done any real professional writing in over a year? Can I be a writer when I dream about it more than I actually do it? Can I be a writer now that I'm away from the abundant writing opportunities of college? And here's the ultimate question: If I can figure out writing now, can I still be a writer when the baby comes?

When this baby comes, ultimately I want a healthy balance between mothering and writing. And of course that means that first I have figure out how to start really writing. I don't want these passions and talents that are so important to me to fade, and I don't think they were meant to. I read this post by a good friend and knew that that's what I wanted. I want balance. I want my baby to have a mother who values her talents and uses them, a mother who can find fulfillment in many things.

So here's the thing: I don't want to disappointment myself by not pursuing things important to me. So today I'm going to call myself a writer and find ways to make it happen more fully.

I want to be a mother and a writer. I want to make it real.

8 comments:

A Mitton said...

I have so so many thoughts. An email will be forthcoming.

Ande Payne said...

I tell people I'm a teacher alllll the time.

You can definitely write and mother (I think). I bet your childrens' lives will be very well documented.

Jessica said...

Ryan and I have been talking so much about dreams lately... I think it is vital to have dreams and be ever reaching for them.

Breanna said...

Charlotte, thank you! I'm glad you liked my post. I thought of you today while I was working from home. I hope you find something that works well for you and your family. And thank you, as always, for the link love. :)

Hannah said...

I worked as a quality control editor (very part time) for BYU Independent Study until my second child was born. PSU or PCC might have similar freelance work. It's worth checking out anyway.

Susan said...

Figuring out the parenting/working balance is challenging but I think you're smart to be thinking about it. I also think it's really good for both women and men to be thinking about. These are my unsolicited thoughts I've come up with...

1) Everybody is different. What works for some parents doesn't work for others. Therefore, it doesn't help much to compare ourselves to others and what they do (though it is often helpful to learn from other parents).

2) Regardless of what to choose to do, parenting is going to be both wonderful and difficult. On the days I'm home with my kids I enjoy the unstructured time and the spontaneity of life. On the days I go to work, I relish adult time and take a much-needed break from the incessant neediness of kids.

3) My kids and I both benefit from time away from each other. One of the benefits is that they've spent a lot of time with their dad (particularly when I work evenings or early mornings). They have a great relationship as a result.

4) You can change your mind. Your desires and needs are likely to shift over time.

The fact that I've written such a long comment probably suggests that this is a struggle that isn't totally resolved for me--partly because even an ideal work/home balance still can be mentally and physically exhausting. Speaking of which, I better go tackle that sink full of dishes...

Susan said...

Figuring out the parenting/working balance is challenging but I think you're smart to be thinking about it. I also think it's really good for both women and men to be thinking about. These are my unsolicited thoughts I've come up with...

1) Everybody is different. What works for some parents doesn't work for others. Therefore, it doesn't help much to compare ourselves to others and what they do (though it is often helpful to learn from other parents).

2) Regardless of what to choose to do, parenting is going to be both wonderful and difficult. On the days I'm home with my kids I enjoy the unstructured time and the spontaneity of life. On the days I go to work, I relish adult time and take a much-needed break from the incessant neediness of kids.

3) My kids and I both benefit from time away from each other. One of the benefits is that they've spent a lot of time with their dad (particularly when I work evenings or early mornings). They have a great relationship as a result.

4) You can change your mind. Your desires and needs are likely to shift over time.

The fact that I've written such a long comment probably suggests that this is a struggle that isn't totally resolved for me--partly because even an ideal work/home balance still can be mentally and physically exhausting. Speaking of which, I better go tackle that sink full of dishes...

michelle said...

It's so interesting to me that the desires and difficulties of finding balance in motherhood are there even when your baby is the size of an onion. Welcome.

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