Catching Up

After a whirlwind weekend I have too much to say and not enough time to say it.

On Saturday I woke my sorry ass up at 5am to drive 2 hours to a writing conference near Sacramento. The conference ended up being great; I learned a lot and made some valuable connections. As an attendee I also have the chance to submit a manuscript to a couple of publishing houses that are normally closed to the public. Of course I will be taking advantage of that. I have more to write about the conference, and what I gleaned about myself and my this new endeavor of writing, but I think I’ll put that in a separate post.

On Sunday I got my sorry ass up at 5pm again, this time to worship the porcelain god; I’m guessing the deli sandwich served at the conference made me sick, though I can’t be sure. I spent most of the day doubled over in pain but I did manage to make it to couples counseling (despite accidentally sending a few texts about how sick I was to my therapist instead of my friend) which was as insightful as always (despite me spending much of it doubled over on the couch in pain). The hour was centered around our current attempts at TTC and again, the proceedings deserve their own post. I figure you all need a break from my TTC musings anyway, so that is probably for the best.

There is a lot on my plate right now. I’ve decided to really delve into this writing thing this summer, signing up for two classes at my alma-mater. I’m so excited to commute across the bay twice a week, relishing in my favorite restaurants and walking the familiar paths of the campus where I spent the better part of four years. I’m also excited to work on my writing. At this conference I realized–I think for the first time–that I have to learn a new craft. That by committing myself to attempting this author business I have to become a student once again. I may write relatively well but I don’t know the first thing about how to construct a young adult novel or craft a popular children’s book (yes, right now I’m trying my hand at both and seeing which one I like better). While I love to learn, it’s terrifying to realize that I’m starting at square one again, attempting to achieve a dream I’ve harbored all my life. The possibility that it could come true is too wonderful to consider now, but I revisit it from time to time.

Of course, signing up for two writing classes this summer comes with it’s own issues, mainly my partner feeling disgruntled about how much time I’ll be away from home. It didn’t help that both classes were on the days he usually has his weekly meeting (he moved it from Monday to Tuesday for me and then I decided I also wanted to go to a class on Tuesday – I know, I’m the worst). Luckily my mom is kind enough to come up six Mondays during the summer to watch Isa for us so Mi.Vida can still attend his meetings. I’ve also promised not to take yoga this summer, as that requires time away fromt the house, and money for the classes (have I mentioned how much those writing classes cost?!). All of this sparked a heated conversation about whether or not I’m taking too much time for myself. The final conclusion was that Mi.Vida needs to speak up more, carving out time for his own needs. While I try to offer him time whenever I ask for it, ultimately it’s his responsibility to advocate for himself.

Ever since signing up for my classes I’ve been thinking of more ways I can further advocate for myself this summer. Should I ask my mom to watch Isa for one morning a week so I can write? Should I enlist my MIL’s help on the two Fridays a week that she has off? Will the woman who watches Isa once a week for me be willing to do so this summer? Could I find another mother who wants free time and set up a trade off: I take her kid for a morning one day and she takes Isa another?

Am I being completely and utterly selfish in trying to do this at all?

I feel like this summer is it – it’s my big chance to try this writing thing, to get my foot in the door, to build a foundation. When I go back to work full time next year I’ll lose so many opportunities to hone my craft and if I’m lucky enough to be pregnant I’ll have no energy even when I do find the time. So this is it. This is when it has to get done, or at least started. Still, I feel incredibly selfish and guilty asking others to be with my daughter so I can try my hand at writing, really writing, with a goal in mind. I honestly don’t know where to draw the line.

And finally, it’s NIAW and I plan to write a post, though I’m not sure what to say. I’ve already read so many good ones, each inspiring me to write my own. Unfortunately between applying for online teaching jobs (writing your own letter or recommendation is BRUTAL I tell you) and writing on my other site, I just don’t know when I’ll find the time. Hopefully somewhere, as it’s a very important topic indeed.

What have you all been up to? Are you planning a post for NIAW?

5 responses

  1. Glad you got to go to the writing conference and made some connections! I hope those connections get your foot in the door and on your way to publishing! And boo for getting sick, but good for you for going to couseling anyway. I think as moms anytime we leave our kids and do something for ourselves, there’s an element of guilt. And it doesn’t help when our partners get irritated when we leave (my husband does the same thing). But, I think in order to be the best moms we can, we have to have the time and freedom to explore other passions. So if you can get childcare covered, I’d say go for it!

  2. Hmmm. If you were a guy, you wouldn’t even question whether you’re being selfish wanting to do this. If you can work it out (I love your idea of trading off time with another mom), then you should do it. You don’t ever want to feel regret that you didn’t take the opportunity when you could, even if you have to compromise (eg that it takes longer to do than you’d like), just don’t give up on it.

  3. You need to do what makes you happy. Happy spills over into everything else. Let go of the idea that you’re being selfish – you’re not.

    I feel your pain on the spousal concerns. It’s good, though, that Mi Vida acknowledges that he WANTS to carve out time for himself – Charlie thinks it’s actually just wrong. *Sigh*

    Either way, I’m happy you are taking time to do something that you feel like might help you get to another place. You’ve been so miserable for so long, it’s high time you spent time doing what you love. 🙂

    xoxo

  4. I think whenever you start cobbling things together (rather than going 9 – 5 to a single job), you start looking at all the parts vs. considering “work” (whether it’s your pay job or writing) as a single whole. If you have this energy now, I say ride it. Because isn’t the inverse that you’ll always look back at this time and wonder what if you had committed yourself to learning how to write and practicing writing?

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