As I write this, it’s a Tuesday, late morning, early winter. Snow dumps and blows off covered patio furniture, which sits and shivers under its covers, saying in its metallic voice, “My whole purpose in life is to live in sunshine and warm weather. You could at least hide me from this nonsense.” I nod. Me, too, man. Me, too.
Today is the third day of the new year. I don’t make resolutions, per se, but I’ve already trashed one of my goals for each and every day: Don’t drink coffee. I turn into a monster when and if I drink coffee. I shouldn’t — for my kids’, husband’s, and passers-by dodging stray expletives spewed in every direction — ever drink coffee. Especially this late in the morning. I’ll be lying awake at 11:00 in a static fog considering whether that 20 minutes of elation I had 12 hours ago was worth this.
But I am drinking coffee from a mug that reads “walking through the snow.” My two older kids went back to school this morning, but because of this snowstorm, I prepared my mind by totally rejecting the idea that we might have an e-learning day. My three-year-old’s preschool isn’t back in session yet after Winter Break, so he is casually resting his elbow on my arm right now and I’m hoping he doesn’t unleash his sudden desire for destruction on the laptop I’m nestling in my lap.
All of this is to say this whole wanna-be-a-writer thing that I’ve been chasing with desperation for these last few years (every year, I think, damn it, I’m going to Write this year) is hard. I’m a mother to three kids – a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, and this little three-year-old sitting right next to me. I run a music therapy private practice, but since the pandemic lockdown, I’ve transitioned away from seeing clients directly. I serve on the PTA and on the board of my state’s music therapy association. I have a chronic pain condition, so going a day without exercise is out of the question. I play violin in a string quartet, and my two older kids are busy in any number of extracurricular activities, nearly all of which my husband and I are responsible for managing. I am stretched for time.
This month my theme on Substack is “do the damn writing.”
Twice a week, I’ll report on the daily process of writing as it happens in my life. I am endlessly fascinated by other writers’ processes, so I’m going to actually create one of my own.
I’ve been writing a poem or a prose piece each day that reflects the quality of my day (with kids, with other family, with whatever else I did in the day). I plan to share one or two pieces per week.
Creative Writing. Creative Mothering.
Today, I was up at 5:00 and spent a while in my writing head. I am in a 10-week fiction writing class, online, and it opened today. That’s always exciting. The trouble is, I’m good at starting. It’s the midway point that loses me.
This month will serve as my self-reporting on the writing. When do I do it? Do I actually do it? Most importantly, how does it feel?
That’s it for now. My toddler is now situated on my shoulder like a cat.
I hope you’re reading a bunch. I am.
I’m going to use Substack’s feature “subscriber chat” for prompts, thoughts, and conversations.
To join our chat, you’ll need to download the Substack app, now available for both iOS and Android. Chats are sent via the app, not email, so turn on push notifications so you don’t miss conversation as it happens.
I am reading a bunch, and I look forward to your new series, Erin. Happy New Year!