March 20, 2009

I'm at work

Two days a week, both my girls are in morning preschool (okay, I admit it's daycare, but it sounds better and makes me feel less guilty to say preschool). So, for about nine hours a week, I am on my own.

This is when I work. Yes, that's right, WORK. I know I am a stay-at-home mom, I know I don't get a paycheck. Saying "I'm working" still sounds bizarre and self-important to me at this point in my life, but the truth is that I have a schedule, I have deadlines, I have commitments- I have work to do.

All this responsibility is mostly of my own devising, at least at this point in my career. Career- now there's another word fraught with discomfort. The truth remains, though, that the work I do now is the foundation of my career in the future, post-preschoolers. In a few short years, both of my children will be in school for most of the day, leaving me free... to work.

What is it that I do during this time, what is this "work" that I call my own? Writing, of course. Always writing. When I am not blogging here, I am guest-blogging over at MA! Motherhood with Attitude. When I can't dredge up something for those more challenging essays, I indulge in updates about my children over at their site. I'm taking a freelance writing e-course with homework, research and, of course, more writing. Whether outlined by me or my instructor, I have goals and deadlines for all these projects.

In between these commitments, I journal, jot and scrawl on bits of paper. I read other people's work for inspiration and admiration. I spend time studying publications in my target market. I even, *gasp*, submit pieces from time to time.

I am a writer (eek!), and I work. I still feel uncomfortable, even embarrassed, to claim this lofty status. It's not something that everyone understands. Take, for instance, this recent conversation.

"Sorry, I can't get together today, I've got work to do."

"Really? What work? Can't the laundry wait?"


Reality, with ever increasing insistence, requires quite a bit of preparation for a new career. For most people, you can't just jump in at the top and expect any level of success. You have to work your way up, earning a level of recognition and respect. For now, my work is limited to study and practice, nine hours a week. Those nine hours, though, set the stage for a future when saying, "I'm working," doesn't elicit scepticism or embarrasment.

There is more to this life than being a small person's mom. They're growing up and I can, too. Knowing what I plan to do, what I want to do, gives me a head start. I might as well take this chance while I can.

On that note, I have to go. I have work to do.


Alison said...

In my humble opinion you've found your "voice" more and more on your various blogs (guess I'm a fan, since I read them all!) Congratulations on your hard "work!" I'll be first in line (maybe second? after your husband!?) to buy your book someday!

Lea said...

Good for you! Doing unpaid work that is driven by your own desire to grow is extremely challenging, especially when you can just walk out of the room and turn on the TV! I can totally see you being a bestselling author one day!

Lisa said...

Remember that dream I told you about, where I was in a book store, reading the back cover of your latest bestseller? It's definitely in your future, but the crystal ball didn't give me a solid date, sorry. Soon.