I didn’t start writing fiction until I was in my forties. Did you know that?
I was a single mom with two kids at home. We homeschooled. In the middle of it all, my own mom was struck with a terminal illness and I became her chief caregiver until she passed away.
I was lucky in that I didn’t also have a full-time job outside the home, but honestly, I could have used one. I taught part-time and wrote part-time and mothered part-time and was a caregiver part-time. There were more parts than time, that’s for sure!
This is what my life was like while I wrote the early books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. I share this with you not because I think it’s shocking or worthy of any special praise, but precisely because it’s so ordinary.
Writers are people. People have lives. Life is busy and full of challenges, and we all wear many, many hats.
I often hear from writers (mostly women, mostly moms) who tell me how they love to write, and long to write. It is the dream. Maybe they’ve taken courses; some have creative writing degrees. There’s a drawerful of manuscripts and notebooks of ideas—but they just don’t have time right now.
Maybe later I'll be able to write, they say. When the kids are older and life is simpler. When I have more time. Less interruption. More privacy. Less on my plate. More. Less.
I wish I could show them the other messages I get, from the writers who say—I finally have time, but now I’m too old. Aren’t I? Is there even a point to me trying to launch a career at this age?
Almost without exception, writers suffer from resistance. We have an absolute genius for talking ourselves out of doing the very thing we feel called to do.
But the issues that impact our sense of what’s possible—especially women, and especially women with caregiving duties—are also real, and cannot be minimized. I know this from experience.
How do we know when it’s truly time to be patient and sit this round out? How do we know when we’re just making excuses?
And how can we find the time and space we need to honor our creative selves today, and not postpone it all for “someday?”
Does this strike a chord with you? It’s the subject of this livestream. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.
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