Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 18, 2010

A New Balance

As anyone reading this blog can see, I have been away from it a long time. I had a good reason – the complicated 3rd trimester of a pregnancy, and the insanity of a newborn. But the fog of sleep deprivation is lifting, and my little one is starting to nap during the day, so I can squeeze in the obligations of writing here and there. It is time to restore the balance in my life.

Writing and motherhood can both dominate a person’s life. The writing Muse calls to me constantly, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Stories are always floating just behind whatever I’m trying to concentrate on, whether it be work, spouse, family or friend. Characters speak to me in dreams (and when awake, but I don’t like to admit to that), and are more real to me than some of the real people I meet. Then there’s motherhood. As soon as that baby was born, my life was not my own. November, for me, was one very looooong day. December was better – it was a couple of days long. The world revolves around the baby, and I can very easily cease to exist as an individual. I am simply Mom.

Such a loss of identity is dangerous, whether I lose myself in my child or in a story. I believe fulfillment should make me more of who I am, not less. Therefore, holding on to my self, and finding the balance between all the parts of my life is essential.

And so begins the new balancing act of my life. Three years ago, I was balancing a day job with my writing passion. Then I quit the day job, and began balancing paying work with my own as-yet-unpublished writing. I had to find a new balance when I married two years ago (which enabled me to quit my day job), between spending time with my husband and giving in to the temptation of the Muse. Luckily for me, my husband likes some quiet time to himself after work, so I could wrap up my day’s writing while he was reading.

But now there is the baby. She’s a little over 2 months now, and life is settling into a new “normal.” As that happens, and I have some time each day to breathe, I feel my creative juices flowing again, pushing to get loose. They never stopped working, of course – even in the hospital I was planning stories and editing in my head. They simply had no chance to get free before now. Not with round-the-clock feedings and little sleep.

Now, balance is returning, slowly, fitfully. I returned to my peer critique group this month, and it fired me up. I will return to writing workshops this month as well. The two all-consuming passions of writer and mother have collided, but instead of one annihilating the other, they are finding co-existence. The details still need to be worked out, but I will be able to do both. Fulfilling my writing passion will make me a happier and more content mother, and motherhood will bring new perspectives and depth to my writing. It’s a win-win.

Balance is a wonderful thing.

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