Ten months ago, Robb went back to working full-time in a money-making type situation, and I went mega part-time in my Physician Assistant job, so I could write a novel (and, in parentheses, also take care of my kids and the house and run our family’s small vegan ice cream business). Nbd! I got this. Amazing! A chance to explore my craft nearly full-time! All the time in the world! Time! Blessed be!
And so..how’s it going, Sarah? How’s. It. Going. Sarah.
Well, one of my kids recently was talking about life dreams (because this is the topic of nearly all children’s movies) and he said, ‘I KNOW YOU USED TO WANT TO BE A WRITER. YOU DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE, RIGHT?’
The truth is, I haven’t written in weeks. Months? I’m not sure I remember how. (Am I doing right it? Is working?)
I’m secretly praying that someone has stolen my novel concept and the first few chapters and just freaking finished the bastard for me, so that I don’t have to. I wouldn’t even be mad. I’d just be like, ‘Not cool, man, but how did you resolve the whole breakdown/breakup thing? I’m so curious.”
The thing I’ve found about making any sort of art, spending time by myself inside my head to make something new that doesn’t automatically come with a price tag or objective result, is that it can be backburnered hella easily. It feels like an indulgence, an afterthought to the business of life, falling behind the things that just GOTTA be done. For example, I started this post 7 hours ago. I think I cooked a few meals and went grocery shopping and probably applied some Bandaids (sometimes I think if we just left an enormous pile of Bandaids in the living room, they wouldn’t need us to parent anymore). Also I sent emails to 3 stores and 2 restaurants for potential new business…just checking in to see if they want me to schlep ice cream in my mini van to their backdoors, in addition to the other 30 backdoors I’m already frequenting.
(Sigh. That’s what she said.)
My point is, there’s ALWAYS more business to try to obtain, more accounting to compute, more social marketing content to create. It’s immediate. More family needs to be tended to, grief to be done, love to be loved. More freaking Bandaids to buy.
Writing for myself, on the other hand, don’t gotta be done. It always falls behind the other things.
I am, however, reminded that I should be writing by this nagging feeling, something like a brain toothache. I feel it physically when I’m not being creative. My night dreams get busier, weirder, my imagination wanders more but less productively. I feel cramped and like I’m pushing against something that won’t give. Obviously, I’m the something. (#deep)
So. It’s been almost a year. It’s time to get on task. I’ve sorta kinda figured out the ice cream business. The kids are in a good place, our family relationships are thriving. The marriage, miraculously, feels like a soft, warm sweater on a cold fall night instead of a harsh wool poncho in August. (Exhibit A that I need to write more, so I don’t put out schlock like that). It’s been a good year for all that. But now I gotta write, too. I’m setting up my life to give me more of a chance to do it, but actually do it. I’m tired of the brain ache. I totally quit my job and will barely be PA-ing. I’ll have the kids, the business, and I WILL make time for writing.
We’re very fortunate that we can both support our family/the business on one of our incomes. Giving up my good job/income seems insane, since neither writing nor ice cream are guaranteed success. (At all. Not even a little. Not a titch guaranteed. In fact, opposite. Like, risk-teed. Is that a thing? That should be a thing).
But we aimed for freedom and flexibility, for options and control of our fate, so here we go.
There. Now I finally wrote something! Now I can go do laundry and get back to writing copy for ice cream.
How’s this: Cold, SO cold, real cold. That’s right. It’s ICE cream.