on writing and rustiness and a mother’s voice.

I really want to post more frequently on here, but I hate posting for the sake of posting, too. I know readers want fresh content, but I highly doubt they want random junk.

I’m not that interesting. The Pioneer Woman can post random junk and it’s fascinating. I cannot.

If you could look in my drafts folder, you’d see a bunch of posts I’ve started that ended up being crap. It’s extremely frustrating. I knew I was rusty, but I didn’t know exactly how rusty I was.

For those of you who don’t know my history, you should know that at one time, not too long ago actually, I had aspirations to get my MFA in Creative Non-Fiction. I took a CNF class in college and absolutely fell in love with the craft. I was so surprised and pleased to discover that what I wrote in my many journals and on my xanga and livejournal (back in the day, folks) was actually a thing. It was not only a way I could figure out the world and my messed up brain and heart but also a craft I could work on and make pretty. It could be art.

It was something I just did naturally, writing, and it took me a long time to realize that not everyone can just sit down and write. The ability to put thoughts on paper, string sentences together, was not something everyone could do. It really was a gift I had, and it deserved to be honed.

Well, when it came down to it we discovered that we couldn’t afford to go to graduate school, even if they did pay for me to go, so I got a job and eventually got knocked up and started a family. And those dreams of the writing life sort of died.

But recently — recently — that desire to write, and be good at it, has been re-ignited. I think it has something to do with the sleep-deprivation being so much less severe.

So, anyway, you’ll forgive me for not posting as much as I’d like. I’m writing — I’m just rusty. I have moments where that effortlessness that writing was for me in college comes back, just for a second. I think athletes would describe it as being “in the zone.” I think writers call it “finding their voice.” I’m finding mine again. It’s a different voice — a mother’s voice. But it’s there. And soon I will share it with you.


6 responses to “on writing and rustiness and a mother’s voice.

  1. Not to hate on PW, but your writing is much more interesting than hers. Keep at it! I’ve often wondered about MFA programs – my perception is that it would be a bunch of artsy people sitting around singing kum-ba-ya and engaging in group think, but I’m sure some of them must be good and helpful. I think the hardest thing about writing after babies is finding time when the kids are asleep and my brain is not completely dead, but when I force myself to push through the brain fog I remember how much I love writing and how restorative it can be.

    • Tim and Alissa Birkel

      Yes, your perception of MFA programs is correct. 🙂 Which is another reason why I decided not to go…

      It’s hard, like you said, because by the time I can sit down and write, my brain has completely checked out for the day, or, if I get a really great idea in the middle of the day it will have to wait til later, and sometimes by then the muse is gone.

      But it is worth it!

  2. Isn’t that the truth! Being a mom it’s hard to find/make the time to edit enough.

    I like your posts!. PW kinda bores me at times. Her posts can be really long and um pointless…sometimes. But her recipes look good oh and she is a good writer overall.

    • Tim and Alissa Birkel

      I’ll confess I usually skim PW’s posts, too. Unless it really catches my eye. Or it has yummy food. Or a giveaway. I am a giveaway addict. Still haven’t won anything….but maybe someday.

  3. Write for yourself, not what you think others want. Writing and developing any craft or skill requires an internal focus, that grows a tough outer shell. History tells us many great artist where not recognized by the masses. Write for your own entertainment, write to inform an audience of people without thinking of a specific person. Stay in touch with your core values: A MFA is more of a stamp of political correctness. You and your mate would be at odds with that stamp. Make your own Stamp. Wear it proudly, like I am of you.
    Love Dad.

  4. I always enjoy your posts and although they are longer than other blogs…they have a nice flow. Keep em coming 🙂

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