About Me

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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keep Calm and Remember to Breath

Do you ever have days when it's impossible to focus? As someone who writes for a living, it is really hard on days like that to actually work. But if I want to sleep at night, most days I have to put my butt in the chair as the saying goes and do it.

However, there are exceptions to that rule. Sometimes you have so many things to remember and think about you get overwhelmed. This could be my problem right now, since I'll be leaving in a couple of days to attend my second 10 day residency at Spalding University.

Whenever things get this hectic, and I have to make lists, and then lists for my lists, I've learned that the best policy, for me anyway, is to give myself a few days off. I need that time to breath and try to keep focused on what most needs to get done so I can leave my family for a week and a half and feel okay about it. My kids aren't little, but they are still very busy. I'll have to write stuff on the calendar for my husband so he'll remember who has to be where and when. I also have to remind myself that this is good for all of us. It gives them a few days with just Dad. Something that my son especially, needs. He tends to rely on me the most of the two of us and he needs to remember that his dad is just as capable as me at helping him with stuff. It also helps them appreciate me more when I get home.

And even though conventional wisdom says it is important to write every single day, I feel rejuvenated when I give myself a little time off before going to an event that is going to fill me up and help me learn more about my creative process. I will be writing some there and reading too. With that in mind I worked hard last week and yesterday to catch up on my writing enough to feel okay letting it sit and percolate for a while. Instead of worrying about trying to get words on the page for the sake of doing it, I've caught up on my assigned reading. Gone through the work of others in my workshop group and commented on it, and I've given myself permission to play some by goofing off with my dogs, and catching up on some of my favorite TV shows. I've also kept to my daily exercise routine. As an individual it is important to remember we have to give ourselves time every once and a while. This is really hard when you are a working mom, which every mom I know is. It's also hard when you're an artist, to separate your life from your work. The two often are intertwined. But unless you want to exist as a human robot going through the motions you have to give yourself permission to rest.

I feel like this has really helped me keep my calm, my focus and my sanity. My mind doesn't feel all awhirl with too many thoughts all at once. So, I should be able to sleep tonight. Tomorrow it will be time to dust off the old backpack and start lining up what clothes to bring for my next big adventure with my Creative Writing Program.

I'm excited to see some old friends from last semester and to make new ones this semester. Huzzah! Let the residency commence!