There are times that I’ve gone days without blogging. Usually it’s because I have a lot on my mind. But the reason I’ve not been blogging the last few days is because I haven’t got a thought in my head.
The family is in town and when family is in town, there is very little internal thought process for me.
I’m so very blessed to be able to see my nieces more than the usual hour before they go to bed. That’s how it used to be. I’d get up, go to work, come home and hang with them for an hour before they went to bed. Then a few weeks later, they’d head back home and I would have barely seen them.
How do parents with full time jobs do it?
But now that I quit my job last month, I am within arms reach of one or both of them 24/7. In fact, the 5-year-old niece has her head on my shoulder right now as I write. And the 1-year-old is trying to climb up on my lap, which makes typing difficult to say the least.
All this family time has made me wonder about writing and parenting. I’ve always thought that I’d be a parent one day, but how does parenting affect writing? Can they exist harmoniously together? I’m not sure. And I truly have fallen deeply in love with writing. Perhaps the love I feel for the little people already in my life can be enough to fulfill any parenting impulses I feel. I keep waiting for my biological clock to start ticking. Maybe there is a screw loose.
Elizabeth Gilbert has explained in her book Committed that she takes her role as an aunt very seriously and that satisfies her enough to forgo having children of her own. She also writes on her site:
“I believe that – if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – that you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns. I made a vow to writing, very young. I became Bride-of-Writing. I was writing’s most devotional handmaiden. I built my entire life around writing. I didn’t know how else to do this. I didn’t know anyone who had ever become a writer. I had no, as they say, connections. I had no clues. I just began.”
Me, too. And I wonder how full-time children of my own fit into the calling.
You’ve probably read the works of writers you love, then they have kids and all they write about is kids. That’s usually when I lose interest. The writers shift to another audience and I’m left to find an author that fills me literary heart with joy.
And I understand! I understand that they have nothing to write about except their children because their days are filled with maintaining these little lives in their midst. And everyone wants those little lives to be happy. We all want the next generations of childhoods to be better than our own. And sometimes that means playing with Strawberry Shortcake and forgoing the blog post.
This guy will say it’s all about time management. He’s a writer and a parent. He figured it out.
Anyway, I don’t have an answer. I just have a curiosity about what I thought I wanted (children) and what I know I want (writing) and I wonder how (or if) they can live harmoniously together.
In the meantime, I’m taking the kids to Disneyland today.
And I’m packing my journal.