When I decided to take my blogging break low this many months ago (the break which is officially over, now) I didn’t know I would blink and find myself pregnant about a minute later.  At the time, I simply thought I was completely burned out on writing and needed time to focus on my job, my husband, my house, my life – and oh, I did need that time, but maybe the subconscious or the body or both knew that shortly after my announced my break I would enter a fugue state so entirely unlike anything else I have experienced that napping, watching summer reruns and avoiding puking would basically take up any spare time I had.

During this time, I did find myself thinking about writing, and why I was feeling so frustrated with it, and this is the conclusion I came to: I miss the old – fashionedness of the artistic life. As a writer and as a former actress who plays around occasionally with returning to theater in some form, I was finding myself disheartened and exhausted by all of the new expectations suddenly placed on the forms.  Writers constantly promoting the possibility of  their books on facebook and twitter, the idea and conversations about the traditional way of publishing going by the wayside, books written specifically for e-book  – just, ugh! I like the way things used to be done! I want to write a book, maybe ask a few trusted readers for feedback, and then I want to print it out with a cover letter and mail it to agents based on books they’ve already published and not how often their blog is retweeted, and then start on the next book.  I do not want to try searching for publication, readers, etc through social media. And I want to see real plays, with beginning, middles, and ends! No more one-person shows with too many props! I want to see plays by Tracy Letts, Noel Coward, Sam Shepherd!

A couple of weeks ago, I made a decision. I missed writing – that much I know. And I do not want to go the next six months without writing because I imagine when the baby arrives it will be that much harder to work it into my daily routine.  But at this point in my life it’s unlikely I’m going to fully support my family with a writing career alone, and given that, if I’m doing it purely for my own enjoyment, I can write however I want! No more annoying twitter conversations! No more worrying about the appeal of my facebook page! I can return to the way I began writing way back in sixth grade – just me, some paper and pens and my laptop, and my ideas (and my blog, of course).  And so that’s what I am going to do – return to the reasons that first ignited my pure writerly joy, and hang onto them as tightly as possible.

It’s easy – too, scarily, easy – to decide doing the things you love is too hard, too complicated – that writing or attending plays, like the bitch pants and high heels you wore in college – belong to a different era, an era you’ve outgrown. There’s enough crap that’s just addictive enough on television, and more than enough, always, to take care of personally and professionally, to stop doing what you love to do, but this much I know – it would break my heart if this child of mine really, really loves something – dance or slide guitar or basketball or whatever – and didn’t pursue it. Now way is he or she going to be born to a mother who spends more of her time watching House marathons than she does writing. No way.

A-hem. So. Off the soap box. Thanks for your patience. I am really very excited to blog again. I’ve missed you all. And, don’t get me wrong – I am pretty sure I will be writing about my writing life here regularly. I probably just won’t tweet my blog post and then post it on an agent’s website and then check a search engine to see how many people have read me in the last half hour…need different ways to measure my writing life, since it’s probably never going to pay me very much.

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15 Responses to Surfacing

  1. Andi says:

    First of all, AAGGGHHHH!!!! <–SCREAM OF JOY for you. Congrats on the pregnancy.

    As for writing and social networking and all…It does become something of a clusterf*ck at some point, eh? Do what you love. Bottom line.

  2. appellationmountain says:

    Welcome back! I missed you. 🙂

  3. Cam says:

    Welcome back. I’ve missed your blog posts. Just isnt the same as a FB status.

  4. Lizzy says:

    Wow Courtney! I am very excited for you. Congratulations, you are beginning a great, wonderful journey, and your heart will never be the same.

    This is such a good way to come back to your blog.

  5. So thrilled about your BIG NEWS! Hope you are feeling less fugue-like now.

    I like the place you arrived at with regard to your writing. I think it’s very healthy to forget the externals and go back to what makes you happy.

  6. smithereens says:

    Welcome back! I agree with Cam, it’s not the same as FB status… so I’m going to say it once again (you will get bored of it, I’m sure): congratulations on the big journey ahead of you! Writing is definitely more difficult with BB than without, but writing does help, so don’t get rid of it. We’ll be there reading your posts.

  7. Katie says:

    Congrats on the pregnancy! Yayyyyyyy!

  8. laura says:

    Oh that first trimester is a killer, isn’t it? I think I slept for four months straight in mine, lol! So excited for you! 🙂

    The business of writing makes me nervous too, especially for as shy and antisocial as I can be. But I’m glad you’re going back to writing for yourself. You know, the whole business side of things will happen when it’s ready to happen.

    Until then, just write!

    Glad to see you blogging again! Do what makes you happy, and don’t do what makes you miserable, lol! There are plenty of authors who don’t do the whole social media thing.

  9. Amy says:

    Yea, but how WAS the House marathon?

  10. shoreacres says:

    First, welcome back, and congrats on the pregnancy! What wonderful times ahead of you.

    And I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’m not alone in my qualms about social media. I quit Facebook about two months ago. I limit my Twitter activity now to posting links to my new blogs. I’m not LinkedIn or Digg-ing anything, and I don’t text. Period.

    I’m not going to get all high-and-mighty about these things – but if I’ve got a few extra minutes, I’ll stare off into space and think, or look at a flower. I don’t need to be checking my FB status. 😉

    FB, twitter, texts and such are ephemeral. They might be fine tools, but you can’t do anything of lasting substance with them, and it sounds to me like you’ve got substance on your mind 😉

  11. Courtney says:

    Oh, thanks everyone!
    Andi – I’m going to do exactly that – follow what I love and F*&^ the rest, LOL
    A. – thanks!
    Cam – facebook definitely isn’t the same. I enjoy it for what it is but my blog and bloggers are my first love.
    Lizzy – thanks for such kind words!
    Charlotte- the fugue has lifted and now I’m quite excited!
    Smithereens – thank you for the support! It sounds like a lot of things are more difficult to do with a baby but they all are worth it!
    Katy – thank you!
    Laura – It’s amazing – I never knew it was possible to be so tired!
    Amy – I’m in love with house. Just, so in love.
    Shoreacres – thanks so much for the welcome back! Of course now I leave for vacation and don’t return for a week, but what can you do? I am back and blogging and that is what counts!

  12. Zoesmom says:

    Welcome back to blogging! Congrats on your pregnancy! I think you’ll find that pregnancy and Motherhood will be writing inspiration. I’m happy to hear you’re going to do what you love. That is the best you can do for you and you as a mother.

  13. Emily Barton says:

    So glad you are back! I agree whole-heartedly (does that surprise you?) I am plugging away at the old-fashioned way of writing (even using that odd instrument the pen) and will see what happens once I have a draft of my novel that I feel comfortable sharing with friends. Meanwhile, the ideas for stories and new novels just keep coming and coming and coming. It would be a terrible shame if I did nothing with them.

  14. Pete says:

    Lovely to hear from you again, Courtney. And congrats on the pregnancy. Yay! That explains why you felt too tired to blog in the first tremester. I hear the second trimester is really good. And enjoy the writing.

  15. A says:

    good grief! how on earth did I miss this post? and the momentous news.

    About writing- I often feel like I should use blogging more to promote my academic career. I don’t think it would be very hard to do, though time consuming, since I (think I) understand the form quite well and probably it would be a good thing to do- but then I think why does everything have to be about work and promoting myself? I spend enough time working and, for now, I like having blogging as an under the radar hobby I do just to amuse myself.

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