I’m a 36 year old, so far childless, woman. Most of my friends are already mothers. All of them tell me nothing on this earth compares to motherhood; once you become a mother, nothing else will ever be as important. Pre-motherhood, many of them used to complain about women who only talked about their children, like there was nothing more important, entertaining, or topical than their own spawn. These same friends now do exactly that. One of them openly recognises it and announces with a grin that she doesn’t care one bit, that nothing captivates her like her own son. But none of these women are writers.
I consider writing my profession, yet I earn no money from it, and perhaps never will. I’m not sure that anyone who works in a career that does pay money can understand what drives this sort of vocation. It takes up more of my waking (and oft times, sleeping) thoughts and daydreams than anything else in my life, including my soul mate and my desire to have a baby. And I can’t imagine this changing. But apparently it will. And honestly, I’m not doubting for one minute the all-consuming experience of motherhood. But nor can I doubt what my writing means to me, the place it has in my life.
I’m sure the two will just fit together, like siblings who fight for their parents’ affections, but love each other and live together in a manner unlike any other relationship on earth. But how? How will this coming together occur, this dance that starts off shaky and unsure and ends up with a unique rhythm all of its own? How much help will it need from me? Will it just happen on its own?
One of the writers doing a Fellowship when I was doing my residency at Varuna told me that before her son was born she’d been commissioned to do a children’s book, but her son came early, so she used one hand to breastfeed and the other hand to type the book. She wrote it in six weeks.
This story fills me with hope. It makes me smile, this tenacity that writers have. This abilty to push on in the face of ridiculous odds. Whomever it was who said we’re a sensitive bunch got that wrong, didn’t they?