Now, what was it that I was typing?
The calm summer months. From my youth, I recall the lilac blooms that heralded the oncoming weeks spent free and away from school. I still enjoy those calming images...and then I turn around and realize, I'm not the one who is supposed to be enjoying these months, my kids are.
But often these days, I find myself chained to my desk, trying to fit in my freelance writing business in the midst of my own kids camp, complete with 8-, 5- and 2-year old children running circles around me.
While I love being a mom, I dislike the constant battle to find the elusive, amoeba-like balance for a family. Balance such as slowing my marketing as we neared the end of the school year. Or the balance that precludes any of my fiction writing while I winnow down the paying assignments.
I left my job to stay home, take care of the kids and write. And while balance can be tricky (which is why I'm awake at 4 a.m. on days when the kids' swim meets will run into the night), I also tend to be more lax and willing to put movies on that will entertain, nonchalantly checking the running time.
"Great, an hour and 15 minutes? I can get at least get started!"
Sometimes it works well, sometimes I find myself drifting through the Internet when I last remember writing a blog post. Asleep at the keyboard, again!
I'm fortunate that I am able to work through how to start a draft while I make lunch or that I have some good friends who take pity on me, helping me to arrange a play date for one or two of my kids. Or that I can often mine daily struggles and write something about them.
However, there are days when I wish I could slow down and just enjoy my life as a mom, not only my life as a freelance writing mom. Or just maybe enjoy my life as a freelance writing mom who gets to hit the snooze button more often than not.Elizabeth King Humphrey is a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and freelance writer who enjoys the bubbly joys of life and parenting. She also blogs at CoastalCarolinaMoms.com and TheWriteElizabeth.com, where she contemplates finding creativity in everyday places. She's going back to bed now...hopefully.
Labels: finding balance, finding time to write, freelance writing, mother
Motherhood creeps, jumps and leaps on the page
Happy Mother's Day to all creative souls who give birth to a piece of writing, nurture it and, if with luck (and a few other ingredients), watch it spring the wings of independence as a published work, lovingly caressed by devoted readers.
This past busy week, while my mother visited, I turned in a piece of work to an editor for a new-to-me publication. I had researched, drafted, re-drafted, re-researched, and coaxed my husband to read it (twice!). It was a tight piece of writing about a complicated subject. Word-by-word, I was proud of it.
After I turned it in, I had some back and forth with the editor. We tweaked it, outside influences creeping into my original piece of writing. Improving it to become a better piece of writing. When the editor asked me to send my invoice, indicating they had accepted the latest draft, I was thrilled.
As I sent the invoice off, I noticed another e-mail from the editor. My piece had been sent on to another editor and there might be more changes coming.
As I wait for them to maybe send it back, my mind (and heart) are going through a checklist about why they might not like this "child." But my creative work has been released into the world and I need it to stand its own.
Enjoy your day and try to find a creative spark to nurture and release into the world.Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. She writes about motherhood at Coastal Carolina Moms and creativity at TheWriteElizabeth. The creative spark she hopes to nurture today will revolve around a Tiki Bar on a sunny beach.
Labels: craft of writing, Creativity, mother, Mother's Day
Women as Writers: Take What's Useful...
A few months ago, I seemed to keep running into the same theme concerning women as writers: that once women start families, the vast majority of them stop writing.
I read it in Alice Walker: A Life
, where she recalls one encounter with a woman she upset with her assertion that having more than one child hampers a woman's full creativity (I'm paraphrasing). Ms. Walker, of course, only had one child. The woman who reacted was bothered by the assumption, prompting her to write a letter to the author, who in turn told the woman that she should take what is useful and ignore the rest.
On one hand, I often say that same thing: take what is useful and ignore the rest. On the other hand, it does nag at me when I continue to run into the idea that women aren't allowed their full creativity when children come on the scene. When men become fathers, no one expects them to stop writing, but for women, who most often are the primary caregivers (whether they work outside of the home or not), unless she's a bestselling author, she can be expected to put her writing on the back burner.
If you've always been a writer, this can be akin to setting your dreams
on the back burner, on a low fire and watching it slowly die.
Yes, it can be more difficult to find time to write when you have children, but if writing is truly your passion, what you were called to do, then it shouldn't matter if you have one child or five or ten. We all find time for what we truly value, whether it's reading, exercising or scrapbooking
Of course, this may hit closer to home if you're a mother, but whether you have children or not, take what's useful: you're a writer, and ignore the rest: the idea that women always have to sacrifice the best of themselves.
Labels: Creativity, Family, life and writing, Mom writers, mother, women writers, writers perspectives, writing, Writing Moms
We received the most
inspiring letter from Carrie Hulce, and we just couldn't wait until our next issue came out to post it!
Honestly, this is the reason why we strive so hard to make WOW!
what it is. If it were simply monetary, we'd have abandoned our mission long ago. WOW!
is something greater than just us... it's about you
and where you are in life. And this letter brought tears to our eyes and a big warm smile to our hearts. Thank you Carrie, and we're backing you 100%!!!Carrie's Letter:
Hi Everyone at Wow,
I normally don't make "New Year's Resolutions;" Honestly, how many of us stick to them. But, I did set a specific goal for myself and that is to "stick to my guns" about my writing.
I have always found it difficult finding time to write. But, I am determined to surpass. I am the mother of 3 boys, one teenager of 14 almost 15 (he loves Football), one 12 about to be 13 (an almost teenager, YIKES), and a soccer buff of a 10 year old who will soon be 11. Now mind you two of my children -- the actual teenager and the youngest have a lot of activities constantly going on where I am having to run them around for their sports. (What is a mother to do???) I found I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of my car and no real time for much of anything else.
I have been writing for many years. I've taken classes, the works, to improve my writing skills. Even though I have done so, I have fallen short on myself. There has been one thing holding me back: A drawer filled with rejection letters. NOT ANY MORE!
I am taking back my writing. Instead of letting those letters get to me, which I have now thrown away, I am listening to my co-workers, friends and relatives who have told me that I have a skill to use, picking up my pen. :) Well, the pen and the almighty keyboard is raised and working.
Thank goodness for Winter break and well sorry to say surgery on my knee, I found WOW! I am so happy I did, your website, since I have been laid up, has helped inspire me to write more. I am now setting appointments with myself to write, research, do anything I can for my writing. I am looking forward to entering in my first contest with WOW! and hope to continue to enter contests through your site. Big HUGS! to all of your staff for their hard work and dedication to the ART of writing. I commend each of you for the fabulous job you have done with this site. :)
New Reader of WOW!
Your letter has inspired us in so many ways and on so many levels!
When Beryl and I (Angela) read your letter, it brought tears to our eyes... sincerely. To think of all the things you, as a dedicated mother, are going through -- Wonder Woman comes to mind! You represent the spirit and soul of WOW!
and we are thrilled you've joined our family of writing women!
We're sorry to hear about your knee surgery, and we wish you a quick recovery. I know how devastating that can be... my husband had one last year. So, while you spend your time laid up, we'd like to do something special for you. We're sending you a personal e-mail to get your mailing address, and sending you out a gift-pack of treats, goodies, and brain-food to help you through your time of recovery and re-birth into the writing world! We want to give you everything you need to recharge, re-energize, and meet your personal writing goals for the New Year!
All of us writers have received rejection slips, and we know they are painful, because writing comes from the heart. Some of us choose to paper the walls with them and some of us shred them into tiny pieces for our kid's hamster cages... but whatever the case, we've all been there and will continue to be there; it's part of the writing process. But keeping that in mind, we try to take a different approach at WOW!
-- one of encouragement and growth. We all know that each one of us has something to share, whether it's a feeling or a story, something to write about, to pass down, to communicate with others who relate or enjoy our views, get moved or shocked by them, or saddened... and that's what we're here for -- that experience that helps us to understand one another as women and writers. We ALL have it in us! Now we need to shine!
Carrie, that's what you've done in your letter. You've shined. You've shared your heart and soul and we commend you for it, and thank you. You've made us laugh and shed a tear, and we're rooting for you, as I'm sure all of our readers are. Keep going and don't ever lose sight of your goals. We KNOW you can do it!
Angela & Beryl
Your new friend, and Editors of WOW! Women On Writing
PS. ~* BIG HUGS *~ Keep that almighty pen raised high and that keyboard tapping!
Labels: Carrie Hulce, Inspiration, Knee surgery, letter, Mailbox, mother, New Years Resolutions, Rejection Letters, WOW Women On Writing, writing