Why I keep writing even though my childcare is 💩

Childcare has gone from something that was pretty accessible, if incredibly expensive, for middle-class Americans like me, to a thing that is still expensive, but also uncertain, and inaccessible for days and sometimes weeks.

And I continue to work within my ghostwriting and editing business. Just to give you a glamorous behind-the-scenes peek:

It’s like trying to work while someone is standing 6 inches from your face, constantly on the verge of screaming.

Bright side: they’re not always screaming in your face. But they always could scream.

Who can work like that?

Well, me. I can. Not all the time. Certainly not always at my best. But sometimes I can.

Why? I mean, the how is logistics and I’m sure those look different for everyone.

But, whyWhy am I writing and publishing articles through so much uncertainty? My work hours are limited, Bonus! They are also unpredictable.

I also don’t get paid to write my own stuff. So I should be focused on client work alone, and shut everything else down. Right?

I am focused on client work. But I also continue to write. Not because I should. Not because I’ll feel guilty if I don’t.

When I write, I unleash my life force. And that feels good. And just like I wrote way back in April (remember when it was the end of April 2020 and we felt like we’d been dealing with COVID for a long time)…

Ahem.

As I was saying, in April 2020 I said:

Fun is not frivolous just because it feels good.

From my April essay –

Fun, as Esther Perel notes, is not just “trivial, or an aside, but is actually one of the most powerful antidotes to death. … Play, connection to anything that celebrates life like that, curiosity, imagination, exploration, pleasure are actually survival tools. They are that essential to our.. sense of hope.”

TL;DR. I write because it’s fun.

I’ve talked to you and I know a lot of you don’t think writing’s fun.

But I’m really starting to suspect that’s because you’re doing it wrong.

HA! You might be. Just entertain the possibility. You might be doing it wrong.

I should know. I used to do it wrong, too. For 20 years or so. I did things like tell myself I was waiting for the right time. Someone just brought up the “right time” to me yesterday: “I keep saying when my kids are older. I’ll write a book.” Been there, commenter from my Linkedin post!

But the right time never comes. I know you know that. But I mean it.

You pick.

Pick the year, then the month, then the week, then the day, then the hour. And you start.

I started to find the fun in writing a couple of years ago by writing in very short stints. Say, 5 minutes. 2x a week.

You’re not sure you have anything to say. You can’t find out unless you start to write. The things that are on your mind need to mix with air to make sense. That process can include fun and pleasure.

And when it does, you won’t want to let some pesky world catastrophe separate you from that.

Maggie

PS: You pick.

My book can guide some of your first 5-minute writing sessions. You can buy that guidance here.

If you already have it, dust it off and start with Exercise 1. XOXO

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