Summer School: Day Four


So, remember that writing class I was talking about a few days ago?
The one I was so excited about?
The one that was gonna launch me back into writing For Real This Time after so many false starts?

Yeah. About that.


I’m struggling. Mightily.
Not because a lack of interest or motivation or desire for self-discovery.
Not because I have nothing to write or talk about.

Mostly because I chose to start a deeply introspective writing class right at the same time two kids were graduating and getting ready for the next chapter of their grown-up lives and the week before I start the next big step of my career after two chaotic years of barely making ends meet.

And we had a death in the family and there’s somewhat of a crisis in our extended family and John has started sleepwalking this week (which means I’m sleepwalking all day) and I’ve nearly missed two lessons because we’re preparing for 30 or so people to cheerfully descend on our house later today to celebrate said graduations.

AND THEN today’s (ok, fine – yesterday’s) photo prompt came up:

Photo credit Julie Moore


You guys.
What if this isn’t the right time?
Even scarier, what if there isn’t a right time? Like at all?

What if the universe is throwing up all these roadblocks and time-sucks because it really wants to tell me that I’m not good at this? That yes, this metaphorical dress does make me look metaphorically fat?

What if the words flowing out of my fingers just aren’t that great? I haven’t shared the last two lessons: one was deeply personal, the other was just a spectacular wet fart of a misfire because I was trying to write in a crowded dealership waiting room while my car was being serviced. As one does.

Should I come back to this later?
Should I switch gears and get back to my children’s book manuscript?
Should I pile up my laptop and notebooks and writing implements on the kitchen table and set everything on fire?

I mean, that would definitely also address the “what-possessed-us-to-buy-this-fixer-upper” problem, so now I’m killing two birds with one stone.


Maybe I should take a deep breath and remind myself that I  a l w a y s have 28732475723491231 things going on at once because I have four kids and a marriage and a full-time career and a darling-yet-ramshackle house that is falling down around us, and this incredibly happy and fulfilling life that I’ve fought like hell to build is just REALLY BUSY right now.

Maybe I should also remind myself that I have, like, no fewer than 30 to 50 drafts of really good work hiding out all over social media and my laptop and in notebooks that just need to be reexamined and polished into something, which is why I took this class in the first place.

Maybe I should tell myself that I wasn’t kidding when I admitted at the beginning of this class that I give in too easily to self-doubt.

And while I’m at it, maybe I give myself some real talk that this is probably just adrenaline talking – the nervous chatter and clanging alarm bells of my lesser, mean-girl brain trying to talk me out of this – and that I didn’t do all this hard work of recovery to listen to mean girls and their self-indulgent drama.

So let’s get that second cup of coffee and get back to work.
Day Five is coming.

9 Replies to “Summer School: Day Four”

  1. Lady… you are one of the most entertaining writers ever. You have a bunch of kids, including the smallest boss. Cut yourself some slack. Keep on moving with this. You’ve got this… xoxo

  2. Sometimes the timing ISN’T right. Sometimes you just have to keep writing the things and stuffing them away in all the places and then when you have the head space and the mental capacity to come back to it.. you do it. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good writer. It doesn’t mean that you should burn it all down. I can’t answer the question about the class and its timing (which looked amazing but I knew it wasn’t the right time for me, which is why I didn’t sign up to join you because I’m barely keeping all the balls in the air right now and can’t add one. more. thing).

    But don’t let that define your worth. You ARE clever and funny and witty and some seasons are just hard and taxing and long. Keep writing, even if it’s just for you. Even if it doesn’t get shared or published or even finished. Don’t worry about the finished product. Just put the words down on paper, even if the ideas aren’t fully formulated. Because when you can get back to them, you’ll be able to see what your intentions were and polish them up. You’ve got this.

    Don’t forget to breathe, and cheers to your two graduates. Raise a glass to them on my behalf. And think of me if you need to have a minute in the laundry room hiding from all those people. Also, I highly recommend that as a self-care strategy. 😉

    1. The two graduates and I thank you, Beth!! Or they would if they were still in the house. 🙁

      And thanks for the reminder that it doesn’t have to be shared to be meaningful. I think we forget that in this (totally overrated) age of social media.

      And for the reminder to breathe. I forget this more often than I should.

  3. Keep going.

    If nothing else, writing keeps the cogs greased and sometimes helps us figure ourselves out along the way.

    Practice makes possible (not perfect).

    1. It’s the “not perfect” part that trips me up. But that’s what this writing class is all about, I suppose. 🙂

  4. While I don’t know you personally, I have been following you for a few years. The reason I have continued to follow you is because I find you to be a hilariously self deprecating, gifted writer, a stressed out parent who suffers with all of the same human deficiencies I had at your stage ( I even had the charming fixer upper). Keep trying to hammer it out!

    Embedded in each person’s struggle is a purpose waiting to unfold.

  5. You know that no matter what you do you will always have love and support from me! Whether you write for you or others, just keep writing because I believe you are more talented than you know.

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