Monday, September 19, 2016

Why I Write

Writing is not the way I would typically be creative, but it has become my only outlet. I come from a background of theatre: performance, directing, and producing. I did everything from improv to musicals to Shakespeare. Theatre was never my full-time gig; I was getting paid, but never enough to quit my day job. So when I found myself with a high-risk pregnancy, it all had to change. I could only focus on the job that paid the bills and provided my health insurance, plus I couldn't push myself to take on any other contracts for fear I would go into labor early and be unable to see the project through. I have not been creative in the ways that I know best since I was first pregnant.

Right now, my life is a very fine balance of routine. There is just enough time in the day to take care of my child, my full-time job, my hellish commute, and maybe cook something or shower or whatever. If anything upsets that balance there is a snowball effect of problems.

-Actual quotes from our household
Image via Pixabay

The chaos is much more controlled than it used to be, the entire first year of my child's life felt like pure survival mode. I'd say it wasn't until she turned 2 that I started to really miss having an artistic outlet.

To add to that, I felt like parenthood had somehow rotted my brain. I know they say babies leech nutrients from the mother, but I'm thinking brain cells jump ship too. Even now that she is a toddler, I still feel like my mind has regressed in some way. Maybe it's because I spend my time outside of work hanging out with a 2 year old, reading books meant for 2 year olds, and watching TV geared toward 2 year olds. (It's not the most challenging material). I can hardly hold a conversation with my husband because our child talks over us, the kid's got some serious "look at me syndrome" going on and likes all conversations to involve her. When we're finally alone we both knock the hell out and maybe we'll shoot each other a few quick texts about what's going on while at work the next day.
Truly riveting stuff. Also, I still don't know what was in the water dish.
Recently, I hit a point where I started feel like a 2 year old with driving privileges (scary, right?) My mind wasn't being challenged, but I was beginning to memorize entire skits from Sesame Street and songs from Daniel that's something. That was when I knew I had to do something to keep myself feeling sharp mentally and would allow me to be expressive in some way.

My favorite part of theatre was being able to tell a story, so I tried to think of ways that I could still do that in my very limited time. Writing became the new vehicle for my storytelling because it doesn't require a schedule or involve other people. I can write on my lunch break or on the notepad app on my phone while I lay in bed. If I don't post anything for a week, I'll be disappointed but there is no one else relying on me to adhere to any kind of timeline. Working in theatre is a collaborative process, it is not something to be done in isolation of others and that was always part of the appeal to me. Unfortunately, I am not at point in my life where I can commit the time and energy to collaborate, I don't think it would be fair because I can't give what I normally would want to give to the process. But there are still all of these jokes and ideas and stories inside of me and, until recently, they were just swirling around under the surface. Thanks to my blog, I finally had a place to let everything spill out and take shape as stories to share. Even if no one read a word I wrote, I would keep at it because I can't bottle it back up again.

A little reminder from my theatre days.
Writing my blog has become more than just the outlet I intended it to be. Blogging enables me to interact with people I never would have otherwise known, I am connected to other writers all over the world. They read my blog and I read theirs...and it's awesome! I feel like I am part of community that I didn't even know existed a few months ago. So far, two other websites have featured my posts and it's exposed me to a whole new world filled with funny, smart writers and I get play in the same sandbox as them! It's strange to think that I didn't even know this playground existed until a few months ago.

I would recommend that any parent who is feeling bottled up inside try blogging. It gives you a chance to not only be creative, but to use some of your big girl GRE vocabulary as well. For example:
  • absconded
  • grandiloquent
  • harangue
Okay, literally none of those words appear in my blog, but if I wanted to I could use them, that's the beauty of having your own little corner of the web!  Because this is my space to stretch my mind and flex my creative muscles (and keep myself from losing my damn mind). Without writing, I could be one episode of Curious George or a reading of Goodnight Moon away from my last brain cell jumping like lemming out of my head.

#blogging #creativity #writing #storytelling


  1. I remember those parenting days even tho mine are long over and grandbabies are now my world. We didn't have blogs then but I had journals. Tons and tons of journals. I wish I had been the mom my daughter is. She always takes a moment for herself to have a glass of wine with friends. It's not an every day thing but it's definitely something they make and take the time to do. Having outlets is important. - I really liked this post. :)

    1. I hope you saved those journals! I struggle with finding that balance of taking time for myself/time with my husband and parenting, but I do think it's important to figure it out!


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