Bribe (or positive reinforcement, whatever you like to call it): If you can get through this post, there are some very funny pics of what dinner time here at Shenanigans Inc. quickly devolves into, especially, when we have dinner guests over. So, please stick around until the end . . . please.
Sorry for going MIA on everyone this summer, but I needed a break from the blog to think about where I am going with this writing thing (oh, and to revel in the glory and splendour of summer vacation!). Unfortunately, two months and a writer's workshop in YA fiction later, I still don't know. UGH! But, I feel strongly that I just need to take that leap of faith; begin writing and see where it takes me. This past year on my blog has reminded me that I do have a writer's soul. She is immature and unpractised, but she exists, and she wants to grow. Sharing the antics of my family and my personal struggles with everything from homeschooling to infertility to miscarriages (yes, it is plural, but we are not going into that right now) to Elliot's diagnosis with NLD and so on and so forth, has shown me I can do this. I can write, I can touch people's lives with my writing, and I want to continue to do so. I just don't know in what manner. Do I continue to blog about life here, a ferry crossing away, do I attempt to write my novel, or do I do both? These are the questions that have been plaguing my mind all summer, and I am tired of thinking about them. It is time to act, which brings me to WFMAD (Writing for Fifteen Minutes a Day). I found this writing challenge today on Laurie Halse Anderson's blog, where you write for fifteen minutes a day, using her prompts or your own and using your voice or the voice of your character, and I thought this is exactly what I need to get going; therefore, I decided to take the plunge.
Today's Prompt: What things do you allow to get in the way of your writing?
Where do I start? How about the laundry, the housecleaning, the sewing, the gardening, the book reading, the groceries, the meal planning, the meal preparing, the meal clean up, the soccer practises, the soccer games, the teaching, the driving, the even more driving, the KIDS, the homeschool planning, and so on and so on. Just writing this list makes me wonder how on earth I am ever going to squeeze in fifteen minutes of writing a day! But putting all of my mom duties aside, what really gets in my way is me. Me and all my fears. Me and all my doubts. Me and all of life's distractions (twitter, facebook and instagram to name just a few . . . tee hee!). I don't fear failure or rejection because they are inevitable with a writing career, but I fear being pulled in yet another direction. I fear that I will have even less time to devote to simply enjoying life's moments with my husband, my kids, my friends and family. In all honesty, too many days already slip through my fingers with barely a moment's recognition or a pause to reflect on the beauty and blessings each day brings. Can I truly afford to add one more thing to the list?
In fact, I honestly believe I can not afford not to! Each of us needs to live the life we are intended to live. A phrase that keeps coming to mind is: fulfil the measure of your creation! This is what brings us happiness; living a life that we create using the gifts and talents we have been blessed with. If you have read my blog before, you know that this year has been ridiculously difficult for me. Every turn I take seems to be fraught with disappointment and challenges, but in spite of these trials, I am really happy. Crazy, but true. I came to this realisation after my second miscarriage. Instead of lying in bed overcome with despair, I was almost giddy with gratitude for what I do have. I have a loving and caring husband and three beautiful and healthy children, who keep my life very interesting and laughter-filled. I am homeschooling, something I dreamt about doing when Zoe was a baby, but felt too inadequate to do properly. I have two degrees and plenty of teaching experience, which has given me the confidence I needed to homeschool and to start my own writing school for kids, which has been thoroughly rewarding and I am currently thinking about ways to expand it. I have faith. I have family. I have friends. And I have talents. Some of my talents, like mothering and teaching are currently being used to full capacity, which is why I find life so satisfying at the moment, but I think it is time to explore some others. I was fearful when I first became a mother and I was terrified on the first day of teaching my very own class, but look where they have lead me! Look at the paths they have lead me down and look at the joy they have brought me. Now I want to try another path. I want to become a writer. Yes, I am scared. Actually, petrified is a more accurate description, but I am also very excited to see how this new path merges with my current path and where it will eventually take me. I love new beginnings!!
What are your unexplored talents?
What things do you allow to get in the way of exploring them?
Let me know.
And what you have all been waiting for:
drum roll please
Elliot and Avery exploring their talent of arm-pit farting!
See what I mean . . . they keep my life, and those I share it with, laughter-filled!