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Browsing Tag: work

We’re Just Gonna Give that Muse a Big Ol’ Push, Basically

I’m sitting at a desk littered with paperwork. I see two planners here (why two?! We’re in a pandemic. WHAT AM I POSSIBLY PLANNING), plus an old grocery list and a messy meal-planning list I’d scratched out on the back of yet another grocery list. There’s the disclosure statement for my mother’s property, the paperwork for her car, photos of my kids and business cards I pulled out of the last purse she used before she became homebound. In the middle of the mess, at my right elbow as I type this, is forty-eight pages of the manuscript I was working on before the summer hit. I loved this story–when I sat down to write it’d fly from my fingers, and now it’s been so long since I stepped away from it I worry I’ve lost the thread. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a story idea being a real thing that tries to find its teller: if one person doesn’t pluck the story out of the air and set it to paper, someone else will. That…

This is Just a Giant Paraphrase of “Eye of the Tiger”

  On Thanksgiving I was talking with my Aunt Michelle, an avid, self-published writer, when she said something about the work that took me by surprise: writing is her way to relax. Michelle hustles like nobody’s business, but she cheerfully told me and my mom that she sees writing as her hobby, an activity she turns to as a reprieve from everyday life. She was smiling as she said it. Writing, to my aunt, is absolute joy. As for me? Well, I stood there listening to her while something like gruff shame flooded my body.Writing is her joy. Let me process that for a moment. I have never, ever approached any kind of job with a sustained feeling of joy. Yes, there was the thrill of seeing my name on a masthead when I began working for a big national law book publisher. I loved taking the train into and from the city each day (though I do remember vowing that if I were still taking that same train twenty years from now something had gone very, very wrong). I really enjoyed teaching, too, but the whole truth is that every single morning I would sit…

Boarding Now

I write this from a train somewhere between Pennsylvania and New York City. And as I write this, David is just finishing up a lunch meeting in England from an office in St. Albans (or is it Hatfield? I’m not sure. It’s a little out of my frame of reference). I just got back from a trip to Chicago and Wisconsin where I was spending time with my future sister-in-law’s lovely family. Dave will come home, repack his luggage, then take off to Baltimore for my bro’s bachelor party. When he comes back, he will repack (Orioles t-shirts don’t look quite as good worn during highfalutin work meetings, you think?), he’ll drive to Connecticut, for more work. By the time you read this, he will be home, and we will be adjusting to life as a family. And by that point, it will be 2 1/2 weeks since I got on that plane in Baltimore. And it will seem like a lifetime. I never thought we would be that family. When I was growing up, my parents were, well, home. My mom stayed at home with us until I…