Now that it’s a new year, many of us have spent some time over the past few days evaluating our progress in one or more areas of our lives. We’ve all experienced some amount of ups and downs. I’ve written a tiny bit on some personal things I’ve experienced over the past decade of life. Now I’d like to share some things I’ve gained as a writer in 2015.
Most of it is all about perspective. At the start of last year, I had a newborn, whom I would soon discover was not thriving. Once we started supplementing him, he (and our sanity) took a turn for the better. Suffice it to say, anyone adjusting to the addition of a new family member knows this isn’t a few weeks’ process. That’s why I included (mom) in my title. Anyone who is a writer realizes that their writing is in one way or another connected to their other life roles, and motherhood is no exception.
I can look back over a crazy year and recognize that in the midst of adjusting to life with three kids, moving to another state and working through some crazy personal stuff, all of my efforts are/were valid. Including my writing efforts. I don’t write for hours every day, many months at the beginning of last year I barely wrote at all, and guess what? It’s ok! I got to experience the reality yet again that I can’t ‘lose’ my writing.
When much of your life is made up of mundane, oft-repeated tasks as it is in motherhood, the ability to finish something concrete through writing had huge-but sometimes unrealistic-appeal. It did (and still does) for me. I used to chafe at not being able to set clear writing times, keep word count goals-all those things “committed” writers do. Now I can shed what doesn’t fit or help me. There’s freedom in putting it on a back burner to focus on what’s fleeting and precious. All things are temporary. Motherhood is one of the most temporary things I have. My writing and my mothering are not competing with one another.
If you’re struggling with feeling like your writing wasn’t as productive as you’d wanted last year, you’re not alone. Sure, we need to practice our craft, but a season of little to show for it doesn’t mean you’ve lost this part of yourself. Our value isn’t tied to what we churn out. Your efforts were just as worth while as if you’d published the next best-seller.
Take care of yourself, lovelies. I look forward to a new year with you.We’ve got a lot of good things ahead of us.