When I heard Anne Lamott speak last spring I took the opportunity to ask her a question during her question and answer period.
How does a stay-at-home mom of young ones write and work toward being published? I asked.
Thirty minutes a day, she told me. You show up in front of a blank page every day for thirty minutes and most of it will suck. But you show up again.
So here I am showing up. I intended on going to bed early. I am reading two really good books, Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Tyler and The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.
I am in the beginning of both books and they have my attention so I want to read on. But I also have committed my life to being a writer, so here I am showing up to practice.
Sometimes I don’t want to practice. I want to forget about my dreams and live someone else’s. Practice isn’t supposed to be easy I suppose. But it does get easier the more I do it.
Like tonight at bedtime. Yelling is getting easier. I want to give it up completely, but I keep doing it. That isn’t the practice I want to be doing. I want to practice keeping my cool not yelling. Maybe I should write that on the kids’ chalkboard 100 times.
I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me.
Along with showing up to practice I must remember to be kind to myself. I just bet the kinder I am to myself the kinder I will be to my children.
The mother/daughter writing duo of Kidd and Kidd had to practice their new way of connecting (I can see where it is going and I am only on chapter 1) and I am sure David Ebershoff doesn’t have 19 wives, so he had to practice his craft of writing. One page at a time.
I have put in my time on this blank page. I will now go finish my “list” of 40 things I am grateful for in my journal. Another practice I am working on…learning to be more grateful. Then I will read a few pages of one of my books…practicing reading more. Then I will practice dreaming in my sleep, so that I can wake up and write down any messages…practicing paying attention to my dreams.
Oh, so much to practice and so much time to practice practicing.
by J.G. McGlothern