A steady stream of doubt follows me like I am a part of a parade. I am the head float, but sometimes I hesitate, unclear of my direction. There are days when I question the accumulation of my moments. Last week it stung like an unexpected splinter in my thumb as I assembled lunch for my daughter. Slapping peanut butter on one side, while grabbing the jelly out of the fridge, I paused and said, “What am I doing?”
Many times before I fall asleep at night I wonder where these moments, my moments are going. What will be the sum of this life I am assembling, one hodge-podge piece at a time? I am not certain. Most of my days are spent in the details. Dropping my daughter off at school, returning to my office and writing, revising, and writing again. Hitting delete more often than I would like, while trying to corral more freelance opportunities. Before I settle in, it is time to become a mother again. Pick up, snack time, homework and then making dinner. My husband usually tends to her nighttime routine, while I try to assemble my thoughts again to write some more. But unlike the job I had as an attorney, my writing is not one of immediate gratification. I’ve toiled for years on a single manuscript and it may never see the light of someone else’s eyes. It’s a fact I am accepting and know that the role of a writer is always about the process. Focusing on publication is writer suicide. Laying down your truth day after day is one that is humbling and hard. Much of what I do doesn’t necessarily guarantee a real paycheck, but I always learn a little more something about myself.
This past week, I experienced one of those days when my writing life gnawed at me. I am lucky that my circle contains many people who support my writing, namely my husband, who continues to offer unflinching support of all of my writing, whether it is a few pages of my manuscript, a blog post, or a freelance opportunity. Choosing to follow an artistic path is not only hard on the writer, but also is trying on those that surround him or her. It is not a life that many understand and at times, it is not one that I completely get either. But I think the not knowing maybe part of the overall point.
A writing life is fraught with struggle and questioning and self-examination. The doubt is part of the process. The process is part of living our questions. And these details I dismiss and the doubt that creeps in is all part of the unfolding.