“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
That quote from Mary Oliver has been ringing in my head this past week, ever since I got an e-mail from a writer friend– a very, very talented writer friend, who nevertheless is not writing. She’s in a dry spell, but it’s more than a “spell” really. She has written and published books before, but hasn’t written anything much or finished anything in the last five years. She wrote to me recently, frustrated by her inability to write, asking me how I do it. How do I juggle mothering and homeschooling and all the other responsibilities of real life and still produce any books.
That Mary Oliver quote is the first thing that sprang to mind when I thought about what to tell her. But first let me get one thing out of the way: I am so not an expert at any of this. I’m not sure I’m even especially good at any of this– not naturally so, anyway. Yes, I have all these children (3 at last count), yes I homeschool, yes, I write a lot of books. That doesn’t mean that I have things totally together the majority of the time. Or even the minority of the time. Anyone who doubts it can come an inspect the state of my kitchen floor. I’m not the organization queen who does it all and makes it look easy. Seriously. But maybe that’s a good thing, because it means that I can tell you what works for me, and add that if I can do this, pretty much anyone can.
So. I wish that I had some magic bullet secret to share. And I do, kind of, but it’s not the kind that allows you to rap three times on your keyboard and have a perfect book magically appear on the screen. My secret is this: [Read more…]