Confession: I haven't written a word of fiction in five months.
Ahem. I should clarify. I haven't written a word of intentional fiction in five months. My journal is stuffed with pages where I blindly convince myself I have no desire whatsoever to write fiction and really want to be a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, landscape designer, dressmaker or hatter, anything less painful and more fruitful than plucking away at the computer every day.
My house has never been cleaner than it is now. My children are happier, my laundry is neatly folded and lately my meals are bordering on culinary masterpieces. You should see my yard! Even with all the adversity I've experienced lately, from the outside it still looks like I am doing very well.
But the truth is, and this is really painful to admit. I need writing.
There, I said it. Out loud. For the whole world to see. Well, at least the five people still reading this blog. (Thank you faithful followers. I'm sure you are still hanging on because I owe you money or a lunch date.)
So here is the REAL question (the gut wrenching question I do not have an easy answer to): How do I write and still be the mother I want to be?
My own mother wasn't around much when I was a kid and she walked out completely when I was a teen. Her absence has left a hole in me that I will never be able to fill. (We have since reconciled and now enjoy a very healthy adult relationship but you never get back those years.) I promised myself that no matter my personal sacrifice I would always be 100 percent there for my children.
I mean really be there not just in body but in spirit.
But I also need to express my creativity. Otherwise I feel like an auto-bot going through the motions, waiting for the cake to rise or the bleach to activate on the whites.
Unfortunately when I write, I fall into a kind of hypnotic state and I am largely unaware of what is going on around me. Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic, because I also need a clean house and daily exercise and garden time and time with my husband. But how can I make the life I need work with the life my family needs? Shouldn't it be the same thing? And if so, how in the world do I accomplish it?
If anyone out there has a REALISTIC* solution to my problem. I'm listening.
*I'm already waking at 5 a.m. to run so rising any earlier to write isn't realistic. And if I worked my children any harder on household chores I'm certain I'd be arrested for violating child labor laws.