Monday, August 13, 2012

Some thoughts about motherhood, housework and attempting to live a creative life

There is this popular self published writer who has a writing blog. He has written a couple of e-books about being a writer and recently finished a book of fiction which is available on Amazon.

I know because he has mentioned it several times in his blog. In case I somehow missed it the first 15 times he brought it up.

He's marketed himself and inspired a lot of people and he's inspired me, I'll admit it.

I have to say though the fact that he is a well read blogger and self published author shouldn't make him a guru. He does seem to fashion himself as an expert and that grates on me. But hey, he's doing something right.

Basically his good advice is as follows:

Find the thing you want to do, say, to be a writer.

Label yourself. I'm a writer!

Keep writing.

Write everyday, put yourself out there were people can see your work, be consistent be prolific be self disciplined.

So far so good.

Today however, in my inbox there is a  little "this is my process, this is my morning writing routine you should have a writing routine too" blog piece and it hit me wrong.

He lost me at the first.

He gets up when his infant son wakes up hungry, around 5 a.m. or so, he hands the babe off to mother to be fed and the Super Writer Man is off to shower, drink his coffee, make himself a nice high protein breakfast and write.

As a mother and someone who likes to write, as a mostly stay at home mom who makes some extra dough on the side doing manual labor, as a woman who's pretty much offered up the last 14 years of my life to the needs of my children, his list of 10 things he does every morning leaves me chapped.

If  his baby son is breast fed, well, of course, he can't feed the baby.

And maybe when he's making his high protein breakfast he makes a nice omelet for his wife and french presses her a cup of coffee too before he heads into his sacred writing lair to seek out his muse so he can write his very important blog posts and ebooks.

Quite frankly though, I'm jealous. 

As a mother, unpublished writer, wife, manual laborer, I will now embark on sharing the core of my morning writing ritual.

1. Wake up. Wearing yesterday's clothes. Too tired last night after writing all night to change into pjs.

2. Try to smile and sincerely welcome my children to their new day.

3. Prepare a healthy high protein breakfast for the children. Start making a cup of coffee.

4. Let the dog out, feed the dog. Feed the cats.

5. Pop the first load of laundry into the washing machine.

6. Realize I have not finished making my cup of coffee.

7. Spill coffee grounds on floor.

8. Sweep floor.

9. Empty the dishwasher in order to fill it with the breakfast dishes.

10. Realize I have not yet finished making that cup of coffee.

11. Help my son find underwear.

12. Insist he put them on.

13. and so on. 

Now since I write catch as catch can, perhaps I could relate my night time writing routine.

1. Get kids into bed no later than 10 p.m.

2. Sit down to write.

3. Ideas begin to materialize as I recall the adventures I've had during the day. The scintillating episode with    the coffee grounds on the floor, or the underwear thing.  That's good stuff. I dig in.

4. Moments later, consciously register that a child is yelling at me.

5. Holler, I'll be there in a minute!

6. Try to write one more sentence before the child yells louder.

7.  Process the sound of a child yelling louder.

8. Holler louder, I'll be there in a MINUTE!

9. Try to speed type that one fabulous sentence or articulate that one key idea before the child yells louder still.

10. Run upstairs to get kid water or tuck the covers in better or turn on the night light or turn off  the night light or turn the night light on again or off. Realize I'm being duped. Sigh. Kiss forehead of naughty child.

11. Remember they need lunches packed for tomorrow.

12. Run down and pack lunches.

13. Think, what the fuck am I doing with my life. Jesus Chriminy Christmas.

14. Throw the final load of laundry into the washer.

15. Pile clean dry laundry on the couch and start folding.

16. Think, I could do all this faster if I had a cup of coffee or two. Or three.

17. Register that it is nearly 11 p.m. and drinking a cup of coffee or three will keep me up through the night.

18. Decide it's ok because at least the kids will be asleep and I'll be able to think about something besides
my children and their needs.

19. Leave the laundry half folded.

20. Make a cup of coffee.

21. Sit at computer.

22. Write about my kids.

23. Stay up all night.

24. Ponder the worth of sleeping from 4:00 a.m. to 6 a.m.

25. Slump into bed wearing the same clothes. Realize I might want to get around to changing my clothes tomorrow, which is really today.

26. As I close my eyes, Curse the fuck who hands his hungry baby to his wife so he can go and write.