Monday, February 20, 2017

Not Doing It All

Two days ago I sat in our monthly Writers of Kern meeting, I'd snuck in just before it started and after a quick phone call from the babysitter, was back out before the meeting was over. Before I left, one of our members asked how I managed three young children and a writing career (career is a loose term, yes?). She wanted to know how I did it all.

Here's my answer (drumroll)...

I don't. I'm not even close to doing it all.

My husband is a trauma rep (meaning he's on call 24/7) and I have three kids with piano, violin, cello and competitive gymnastics. This doesn't include our GATE programs or volunteer projects. And let's not forget school activities.

None of the above include my own obligations to the local school district, my editing clients, our semiannual Girls Only Ragnar trip and my position as Critique Group Coordinator for Writers of Kern.

I had two Writers of Kern obligations in one week but with my daughter busting her leg and a babysitter needing to bail, I missed one completely and left halfway into another. And let's not forget rebuilding a fence that fell over in our recent storm.

Plain and simple, I physically and quite literally can not do it all. 

But I sure as hell can try.

When you're drowning in to-do lists and skipping from one event to another, writing feels like an impossible task. Editing isn't even a thought. You want to beat your fists against the keyboard you just sat down to tackle, only to realize your parents are at your door. Or your dog just vomited on your feet. Or the school called, you forgot to pick up your kid. Or your thirty-year-old is moving back in.

You could fold and walk away or you could give what you have. No one can do it all. We're not supposed to do it all. It absolutely takes a village.

Thankfully, I have a safety net with a supportive husband, understanding (for the most part) kids and the best board of all time at Writers of Kern.

There are going to be days where you punch out only a sentence. And then there will be days you get a paragraph. But one word is better than no word.

You can't do it all. But you sure as hell can try.


Joan Raymond said...

I am amazed at everything you do -- and you didn't even mention all the animals that are in your care (although I'm sure the girls help a lot).

It's easy to put writing on the back burning when everything around you seems like a fire needing to be put out.

Remember to take a deep breath once in a while and writing a sentence here and there is better than nothing at all.


Clarissa Kae said...

And this is why I love our board!!!

Annis Cassells said...

Clarissa, I love this post. It lets folks know they don't have to do it all -- and gives them permission, knowing they are in good company. You ARE one heckuva woman! xoA

Unknown said...

WOW! My goodness Clarissa, I really had no idea of all that is going on in your life!
You are one busy lady there, being a great mom for your young girls and a wife.
Well, just thought you could use some encouraging words or two:
You are truly AMAZING and I am proud of you!

Great words you've written ~ thank you for sharing.
And thanks for all you do ~ for caring.