writing life restarted

In November I knew I was going to put my fiction work aside until the new year.  In December I knew I was going to put my professional writing to the side also. In January we got our new son and the writing stayed to the side. It’s kind of a big deal adopting a fourth child. Even if the child is older, it is still quite an adjustment for the entire family.

It’s an adjustment for the writer in the family too.

My writing life didn’t cease. I continued to blog. I continued to write in my notebook. Things shifted, though. I was writing mostly about my faith and it was for me, not an audience. The notebook work wasn’t leading to anything more.

I made a promise not to let life overwhelm me this time around. In order for this to happen, there were things that took priority over writing. Life is about choices. In the past three months I’ve not chosen writing.

I’m ready to write again. I keep emailing my editor. I’m opening my computer after the kids go to bed in order to work on articles. I’m planning blog posts. I’ve organized my photos and have been documenting stories of family life. I began playing with an unexpected draft inspired by my notebook entries about faith and adoption and motherhood. To top it all off, I even wrote a haiku!

And my characters started talking again.

I feel like I’m on the brink of my writing life beginning again. It’s easy to feel like there is too much to write and not enough time to write it all. This isn’t true, though. Like so many other things in life, I think I’ll accomplish more by slowing down. I write because it’s fun. I write to make sense of the world. I write to collect story and inspire others to do the same.

I don’t write for my livelihood. (Thank goodness.)

So bit by bit I’m putting words together and making stuff.

18 Comments »

  1. Sometimes a step back allows you to breathe new life into what had grown complacent. You are ready to start the next chapter of your writing life. Stay tuned world, I wonder what will come next?

  2. Congratulations on your growing family! I can only imagine the challenges and joys everyone must be going through. Motherhood is such a trying experience that is always new, no?

    I love the consciousness of your choices and writing. I wrote my first SoL post today and mine was along a similar vein (choices, parenting, doing).

    I look forward to browsing through your blog when I have more time as it looks very inspiring!

    Best of luck!

  3. Ruth, I always enjoy your posts. I love hearing about how you choose your family first and everything else next. I love the snippets of your children. I think it's difficult to write about such a personal thing as your family and the intricacies of it and still share it with the world. You do it so well. It inspires me to keep trying.

  4. I am so anxious to read more about your faith and your adoption. I'm sure that there is something really important that you need to tell the world about. That one piece that you wrote about your son and your process really moved me…and my husband. It is a big deal…a new child finding his safe haven and sense of place in your home. I am amazed and fortified by your writing. And…yes you are so right…we need to lay things down for a while to make room for new adventures every once in a while. xo

  5. Your comment: “I think I'll accomplish more by slowing down. I write because it's fun. I write to make sense of the world. I write to collect story and inspire others to do the same.” makes so much sense. I enjoy reading your slices and learning about what is important in your life – your family and your faith. Thanks for sharing and so glad that you are finding your way back.

  6. I'm so happy to hear where you are at in your writing process. You sound refreshed and hopeful.

    It was also good for me to read because I have felt like I am going through some shifts in my writing life, so this helps me to realize that it is okay and that there will be a point when things settle down with some transitions right now that I will be ready to shift more focus back to writing with time.

    Good luck with your newest writing chapters. I look forward to reading more from you and learning from your experiences. Enjoy the process of exploring!

  7. Glad for the love and attention that went to your family. It is a joy every time you write about family. Glad you will continue putting words together and making stuff!

  8. This must be an exciting feeling for you, as you feel your writerly self returning! Sometimes a break brings a fresh start, and it seems that you are even more excited than you were before you took those several months “off” — although I'm amazed how much writing you've done while you are “not writing” much! Those other parts of life are so important too, so I think you did exactly what you needed to do.

  9. I'm amazed at all you accomplish and do in your writing and not-writing life! As usual, your slice oozes inspiration and I look forward to see what your writer-self creates in the days, weeks, months, years to come!

  10. Umm, yeah, I would agree it's kind of a big deal to add another child to your family! KIND OF????
    And so glad the writing is starting to flow again. I don't think it ever stopped. Just different kinds of writing were coming to the surface. Can't wait to see where this goes in the next few months!

  11. Ruth, time and commitment are always a challenge to writing. I'm glad you are feeling like you are back on the path to your writing life. The last two years I've felt like the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by you and Stacey, has been the start of getting back into my writing life. Finding a writing routine is easier for me in the summer, but I struggle during the school year with family and school commitments.

    It sounds like you have a lot of great things going on in your writing life (and your life). I was intrigued by the variety of types of writing you are doing. It seemed to me that you managed to keep your writing life going even when commitments kept it from being in that place you'd like it to be. You said, “So bit by bit I'm putting words together and making stuff.” I think that's something I need to remember; even when life gets busy keep “putting words together and making stuff” bit by bit.

    Cathy