My writing career, like my resume, has a giant gap of nothingness in it. Loads of writing and publishings in the 1990s and then nothing. Like my career as a social worker that stopped back in 2004 so that I could stay home with my daughter (and then my son……and then another son), my life – particularly my own interests – got put on pause for a bit while I raised my kids and worked from home (taking care of yet more kids).
I remember a moment on a rather draining day of caring for my own two little preschoolers plus another six kids on yet another long, exhuasting nine hour day and no thanks from anyone for anything, I remember in amongst the tiredness -the emptiness – a thought came to me, a secret thought – no a promise to myself – that one day I would live a creative life again. I would no longer just get through my days — I would create again, I would write again. I would not just continue to drag my ass through day after day of diaper changes and meal preps and story times and fake smiles with my daycare parents when they showed up twenty minutes late with no apologies, no consideration that maybe, just maybe, the daycare lady had a life – or wanted one – beyond caring for all those kids.
I would live a creative life again.
It was photography, not writing, that became that creative life. I had studied photography before the kids came along (I was a film student when I met my husband), so it was a pretty natural fit for me. I had been taking creative photos of my own three kids on the weekends (my daughter as a fairy in the woods, my son as a cowboy in a cornfield) and posted them on my facebook. Daycare parents and their friends started to notice. One of them asked if I would take photos of her kids – she offered to pay whatever amount I wanted.
My daycare parents soon converted to photography clients and Stay Gold Photography became my full time job. Seven years later, it is still the bulk of my creative life, but over the past year, I began to feel that emptiness again.
Creative Live had a show about fifty creators talking about why they love what they do and how they came to it. One of the shows had viewers ask themselves, who are the five people you envy, with the idea being five people in your creative field of work. I sat down and wrote my list – looked at it and laughed. Not a single photographer on the list.
All of them were writers.
I cut back on Stay Gold s business hours. I bought a tiny writing desk and a mini laptop. I read The War of Art – over and over and over again.
And I started writing.
For the past year, I have been living that creative life that I promised myself.
And everyday, when I write, it feels amazing.