Monday, April 25, 2011

But it's Just SO Pretty

My daughter refused to eat breakfast this morning, but only moments ago I found her taking bites out of playdough. What is it about playdough that children love? Because it's colorful? It's definitely not tastier than the cereal I offered earlier. Maybe she knows that, but it's just so pretty she can't resist.

Sometimes I wonder about that colorful lump of dough on the horizon: Publication. All the kids on the playground want it. I know I want it. I work hard for it, but when I get there will it be worth it or will it taste a little salty?

After years of staying up late writing and trying so hard to balance my dream with the bigger and larger and eternal pursuit of Family, will I hold my book in my hand, look back over the years, and say, "Oh. All that for this?"

Because being published is my goal. As much as I'd like to say I write for the love (and I do love writing), I'm driven forward by the possibility of having my work read. However, days I'm sleepy from a late writing night, too sleepy to be the mom I want to be, I have to ask myself, "What are you doing?"

I'd hate to come away from this venture knowing that one of my children missed out on something important because my head was busy creating other lives. Then again, I know writing is a part of me now. It forms who I am, and in many ways makes me a better mom.

I'd love your thoughts on this, especially if you have actually tasted playdough (real or metaphorical).


  1. I know what your saying because I feel the exact same way. Think about this, you are here writing and I am here reading and enjoying what you've written. Isn't that reward in itself? I feel every time I write something, even if it's little, just to know someone was out there reading it and maybe even enjoying it, is worth it to me.

    As far as being a good mom is concerned, your writing is the one thing you have for you. And it's hard to be a good mom if you are going crazy from not having anything else. So don't give up! Keep writing even if just to keep your sanity.

  2. I have definitely felt the same way. The thing is, whenever I think it's not worth it my kids are the ones that re-inspire me. Usually by saying something like, "mom, I told my friend about your book and she wants to read it.". Or like when my 7 year old told her teacher so proudly that her mother is a writer. My children love that I am a writer. They see me going for my goal and realize that they too can reach for the impossible dream. Yes, my goal is to be published, but my ultimate goal is to teach my children about life and reaching for our goals, especially the goal of eternal life. Wether I flop in the publishing world or not, my children will see that I persevered. So in a way, even working toward my goal of publishing is for them. Sometimes they ask me why I did't finish my book yet. I list my excuses of everything I need to do for them and they smile and say, "I can do it for you mom, you go write". Those are the moments I know that writing isn't just for me.

  3. I've totally had these same thoughts...over and over and over. The answer is balance and remembering the top priorities of God and family. The rest can be considered icing on the cake, but still of great worth as a goal. I remind myself that I didn't just randomly choose this writing thing on a was given to me by my Heavenly Father. With it comes expectations that I need to fulfill.

  4. I feel blessed for this time in my life. While you ladies are young with small children, my "babies" are young adults starting their own lives. I've retired at being a full-time mom, yet I'm too old at 51 to be hired at any place that would pay more than minimum wage. (Think door greater at a store. Gag me!) I've been a (willing) stay-at-home mom for the past 27 years, even with my degree, I'm not a desirable employee. But for the past several years I've found my passion in writing, and this is why I feel blessed. If I would've had a taste of it when my sons were small, I know--I know for a fact that I could not have juggled, balanced, or whatever term you want to use to both write and take care of my children, as well as all of the other things that surrounded my life at the time. It would have been like having chocolate for the first time, falling in love with the deliciousness, and then being told I can't have it ever again because I'm allergic to it. It would've been torture.

    I applaud any woman with enough energy who can stay up past 10pm, and who exercises their talent--and writing is a talent given to us by our Heavenly Father, and not to be hidden under a bushel.

  5. Jen-I agree that as moms we all need something we can call our own (other than our children, of course).

    Nikki-I love that perspective! If my kids see me striving to obtain a goal then they in turn will be inspired to reach for the stars, too :)

    Valerie-Yes! Balance is key. I just wish I managed it better. Maybe with just a little more practice...

    And I love your way of looking at the writing gift-that with it comes expectations. (Not guilt.)

    Debra-What a great season of life you are in right now! Sometimes I think I SHOULD wait until my children are older to pursue this, but that chocolate (or playdough?) has been tasted.

  6. If you give up your writing to be a better mom you won't be. Your kids love you for you, and writing is part of that. If you gave it up, you'd be a different person, you'd be cheating not only yourself, but your kids as well.

    Glad to find your blog.

  7. Writing for God is not an option - if the words are given you you will have little option - you will not be a better person for giving up. All I would say is - always ask yourself 'is this about me or about God?' Your children will understand and if not then that's a part of the parent-child relationship - they will always find something to challenge you on. (I have tasted playdough - at least it is better than saltdough!)

  8. Some things are worth dropping everything for. And sometimes it's okay to say, hey, you know what? Mommy's right in the middle of a scene, and on a roll. I'll help you later.

    I don't want my kids to think that I'm just waiting for each and every whim, BUT I definitely want to be there when it counts, and I don't want to be afraid to drop everything for an impromptu trip to the park or a need for a campfire in the back yard.

    It's a touch balance.

  9. Wanton-Thanks for the words of encouragement! It has become a part of me now.

    Word-I definitely agree that writing is a gift from Heavenly Father. And that (like in the parable of the talents) our gift should not be buried but invested. I struggle with whether this is the right TIME for my investment...

    Jolene-A campfire in the backyard? I'm coming to your house. (The fact that it is in Alaska makes it that much cooler.)



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