Writer. Mother. Two Heads. One person.

Image Credit: Kate Hiscock

Image Credit: Kate Hiscock

I’d say Sara Rule’s new book 100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write is quirky but she has a whole chapter on how she hates the word quirky so I’ll just say it’s really, really good.  And unique.  I read it late last night in one sitting.  She’s got that lovely combination of a really personal voice and something to say.  There’s anecdotes about how she lives with her dual identity as a mother-writer that made me proverbially shout “Me too!”  Here’s an example from a story about when she takes her daughter to an Orthodox Jewish apartment in Brooklyn to get rid of her lice.

 

    “And I think, as I’m surrounded by teeming life — parasites, fish, and children — I think,         So, you thought you wanted to observe life?  Motherhood shakes her head, clenches her     fists, and demands, No, you must live it.”

 

Since my daughter was born I have been besieged with questions. I can’t find tiny socks. there is always a diaper to change, a tear to wipe away, a meal to make.  But I seriously did not think I would be capable of living with what sometimes feels like a split-personality: the writer-mother duality.

 

But I don’t have just two full-time jobs but three. I know it sounds crude, but basically it goes like this: An artist makes their content; they find their audience; they sell their content; they persuade their audience to shut out the noise around them; and then sort of make them fall in love — or at least share the artist’s work with other people.  

 

When not writing, producing, shooting photographs, designing, or whatever your creative day job may be.  You’ve got to to buy materials.  You’ve got to make phone calls.  You are PR, Marketing, Design, Admin, etc.  In my case, the person one who writes this sentence, and the one who built this website are completely different people — and they’re also both me.  They’re like chalk and cheese.  Or like motherhood and the writing life.

 

I search for socks.  I watch video tutorials about Twitter.  I write.  I look for the socks again.  We say “She wears many hats.”  I’m not sure about the hats.  I feel like I have many heads — and they’ve all got a headache.