I have a guest post up on the Literary Mama blog today. I'm happy to report that I wrote it several weeks ago, and that yesterday my daughters and I met our man at the airport with a bouquet of flowers and much relief. But solo parenting or not, it's still a place I must return to regularly: the need to write, for my sake and theirs.
Writing for My Daughters
My children need me to write. It is imperative, for the well-being and security of my children, that I write.
This was my thought as I left the house and stalked down the street in tears, having uttered the words, "I don't want this life." Having left my children alone, left them behind.
Last week, I began the second leg of a four-month solo parenting stint. I’m between books, first novel completed and languishing in a weigh station on the path to publication, second novel embryonic, barely living, in my head and in my notebook. I’m waiting. Stalled. In limbo. For my partner to return, for my own life and writing and career to begin advancing with direction and momentum.
Mothering—especially full-time, solo mothering—is a handy excuse for the low-grade depression and inertia I’ve been in. For the new book that is not progressing, for my inability to haul myself from bed before dawn as I did through months of finishing the previous book, for the sense of purposelessness that drags me down some days amid the domestic minutiae and the unrelenting need-meeting.
It is so hard to begin a new novel. There's so little to latch on to, to run with, to shove yourself off from. It's so ethereal -- look sideways at it, and poof, there's nothing there at all.
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