Today I spent two hours working. For me, working is writing. I used to say “working.” In quotes. As a way of saying ‘I’m not sure if I’m really a writer, but I feel like I am, and I want to be, and I want you to believe me.’ Now I just say it. A writer. Who writes things.
I was at the dining room table. Of my mother’s house. In my sister’s pajamas.
Our baby spent the hours playing by herself. With the Little People of my childhood. And the tunnel from her first birthday. And the flashlight that she pretends is a microphone. She quietly crept up the stairs without me noticing and found my mom. My mom lets her watch cartoons and empty the change jar and do anything else she wants. If my job is writing, my mom’s job is indulging that sweet girl of mine. We both do our jobs fairly well.
I wrote two emails to interview subjects. Completed the draft of guest blog post due up next week. Wrote notes for my novel in the file titled ‘notes for my novel.’ Stared blankly at my screen. Type 535 words, edited away 248 of them. Stared more, but slightly less blankly. Ate a muffin. And another muffin, just in case.
A friend of mine called and we talked about plans and progress and prowess. We discussed sprouted grains and Japanese feminism and transitions. She referred to her ideas as ‘intuitions’ and it felt like a revelation for me. OF COURSE, what else could they be? I told her I was happy for them and she told me she was proud of me. I hung up feeling the confidence to be inspired that can only come from a conversation with a woman after my own heart. Who follows her own heart. Who I have only met once. I replaced the previously deleted words from my novel and added 391 more.
I drank my tea, which had gone cold long ago. I thought about whether I should write more or whether I should go relieve my mother and resume my child-raising duties. I realized I will always have to answer ‘yes’ to both of those questions.