Realizing What's Important
This article belongs to The Writing Life—The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly column.
Lately I have been in the mood to do very little. I still teach a few hours a day, create pitches, and work on articles, but all through this I have had this feeling that there is something else out there. Something more. Something I rather be doing. We all get these feelings from time to time—when work gets monotonous, when we have a vacation coming, when the days get warm. And I have been in all these camps. This time, however, the sensation stems from something else.
You see, I'm pregnant with my first child, and as the due date (July 13) gets closer, I am rethinking my priorities more and more. Next year, at least, I plan to stay home with our child and care for him, and just thinking about this makes me so happy. The thought of teaching him (this part, of course, is when he's beyond infancy) and watching him grow fills me with more joy than any pitch acceptance ever has. This is not to say I cannot have both, but as these months progress, I do not want both.
I'm starting to see that life is too short to do only those things that make the day go by or make me feel productive. Going after all my passions is what is important to me right now. This is what I want to teach our son one day too—to follow whatever path his heart draws him too. He will learn early what I am learning now. And right now my wants are these: being there for my child, doing what I need to do to get my YA book an agent and then published, working on my new book, and writing only those articles that move me.
I have begun making this happen too. This weekend I sent pitches but only about topics I really wanted to write about. The pitches I am following up on this week are those I am excited about writing. Not everything can be changed overnight. There are dues I have to pay to be able to stay home next year. I will be teaching until June, finishing up assignments I pitched earlier, etc. But each time I sit down and work on my new novel or get a response from an agent about my YA book or feel my baby's movements in my belly, I know I am one step closer to the next phase of my life.
It is interesting how this anticipation is fulfilling in itself. Just thinking about what will come makes me energized. I was apprehensive about writing this column this week because my brain sometimes gets pregnancy related sluggishness and amnesia. I thought about writing tips and what I can offer people. In the end, I came up with this. It is not a how-to piece or some great "in" to the writing world, but it is where I am at right now. And following my dreams is what got me into freelancing in the first place, so I guess it all came together after all.