Thursday, October 22, 2015

Follow up

Starting is the hardest part.  I had wanted to start since last fall, but I just couldn’t.  I was stuck.  With both kids in school full-time for the first time ever, I couldn’t figure out how to fit in writing a book along with blogging, teaching, and managing my primary caregiver responsibilities.

Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed helped me get to the root of being stuck: fear

It was totally fear.  However, it was so pervasive, I didn’t even recognize it.

Fear looked like the low-grade sadness that I thought was just the result of a freezing cold winter with unpredictable snow days.

Fear looked like busyness.  I was too busy managing calendars, my part-time work-from-home job, doing laundry, and cooking meals to even *think* about writing a book.

 Fear convinced me that writing would make me a bad mom.  I would become so consumed that I would become emotionally unavailable to my kids as they foraged for cold cereal to eat for dinner while navigating around piles of laundry and dirty dishes. And nothing is worse than a mom who neglects her kids, especially if it is to be creative.

But after five months of writing, I can say with full confidence that those fears are completely unfounded.  I actually feel more balanced and present when I am consistently creative.  I also like that my kids are seeing how to fit creativity into their lives as a grownup.  They are also feeling the lightness that comes with being engaged in work I love.

I’ve also had to make some adjustments to my blog routine.  I have discovered that it is difficult to post once a week and keep up with writing.  So for now, I am dialing back.  I will be starting a newsletter, and my first one will go out this weekend.  If you are curious about how the book is coming along or social media updates that you might have missed along with some other content of mine, here is the link to sign up.  I would be honored if you did.

I am not saying that it – the creative process of writing a book – is easy.  I am working through my adrenaline addiction of playing Tetris with the color blocks on my calendar as I try not to overschedule my day.  I have found that exhaustion, both physical and mental, is the quickest ways to kill my creativity. I am waking up at 5:15am to write before the kids get up for school which means curbing my voracious need to read the whole Internet before I go to bed.

This journey to put my story to paper is difficult.  The actual showing up and having the courage to write is emotionally taxing.  I am easily distracted by my “mothering” tab that is always up and running. 

But I made a contract with Inspiration to write this book.  This shift in thinking inspired by Elizabeth in Big Magic* has helped me stay motivated.  Just like I honor all of the other contracts in my life, I  am committed to seeing this book to its completion.

But it is so worth it.

I feel more “me” than I can ever remember.

erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot elizabeth gilbert big magic contract quote

**I was not compensated for this post.  I just think that everyone should know about this awesome book.

Since I am committing more time to writing my book, my blog might not be as active.

I have a newsletter that I will start sending in October.  You can sign up here.

You can always find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.  I would love to connect with you there, too!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nicely done Professor Rawlings. Fear stops many of us from moving forward. The fear usually comes from within. Getting out of our own way is easier said than done. Good for you that you are on your creative journey.