I get a lot of questions about rearing kids and writing as much as I do, and how I'm as productive as I am. It was also something that both Mary Rosenblum and Connie Willis discussed with me at Clarion West. I was the only young mother there (the mother of a six-year-old and a three-year-old), and they knew the societal, familial, and personal expectations for me were and are huge.
Mary and Connie talked about how having a supportive spouse is important, and not everyone has that. There are really no answers for how to deal with that -- every relationship is as complicated and as unique as the people that are in it. But it is something that every writer has to deal with (can and will and does the person I'm with understand why I spend all this time doing what I do?) can they deal with this?), and it's particularly an issue to deal with when one is a wife and mother. Despite the evolution of our culture and the role of women within it, there are a lot of attitudes and expectations that have not changed. Particularly in Idaho.( Read more... )
Finally, it's about choices. There are a lot of things I don't spend my time on right now because if I'm to mother and write and do all these other things something will have to give. This is part of the reason why I don't currently work on music much. I have, in the past, played several instruments, my favorites being the piano and guitar, and I also sang, once upon a time. I once was heavily involved with theater. I used to be an artist, winning awards for my work. I crochet, I knit. I love to cook and garden and read. I love movies. I love hiking and exploring places I wouldn't take my children until they're older. I love experiencing new things, pushing myself to the edge, feeling myself get carried away physically by whatever I'm challenging myself with. I love to meet people, be with people. I love to learn new things. I love to travel. I love to do research. I have studied four languages, other than English. But there isn't time to do all this now, so I make choices as to how to spend my time. The piano and guitar will be there when the kids are older. So will the yarn, and the theater, and the hiking trails and biking trails. I do some of these things occasionally, but I don't pursue them as much as I'd like. Mostly, I mother, I write, I read a bit (not as voraciously as I used to -- my permanent companions were books for so many years), and I love the people who are important to me. And I blog. Because blogging helps me process my life, and it's a record of who I am now. And someday, someone will care. I already have cared about who I was in the past, and my progeny may want to know who I was, as well.
I'm anthropologist. We keep records. Anthropologists are those who write things down at the end of the day.