Motherhood & Words

i’m having trouble focusing today

Could this be because my morning work time was swallowed by three children—two mine, one not? Could it be because one of the said children had diarrhea all over my—ahem—clean-this-very-morning bathroom? Could it be that I’m in one of those writerly slumps (and full of despondency)? Could it be that I’m just impatient for spring—real spring with warm weather and the smell of flowers blooming? Could it be that I’ve run out of chocolate and I’m jonesing? Could it be that I’ve been spending so much time in front of the computer that my eyes are sore and I might need new glasses?

What. Could. It. Be?

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Lynne Marie Wanamaker on April 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    One of my favorite karate teachers once told me, “Sometimes the best thing you can do for your karate training is go to the movies.” I’m just a white belt writer but I feel pretty sure that sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing practice is go for a walk.

    I just can’t bear days like these. I just give up and try again tomorrow. Hang in there.

  2. Melissa on April 8, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Dude. Any ONE of those things could throw me off for a week. I’m with Lynne: take a walk (or maybe a coffee break) and try again another day. 🙂

  3. Elizabeth on April 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I sympathize. I went to the Chinese doctor today and had her needle my right arm which I think is developing tendonitis given the amount of time I spend on the computer. And I don’t have much to show for it!

  4. Ines on April 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    If it is any consolation. I have been off too….but there is always tomorrow….

  5. kyra on April 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    could it be a loathsome combination? of it all?

    me too. longing for REAL spring with warmth that lasts and green that puffs around the empty branches.

  6. sarah pekkanen on April 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    It is absolutely the weather and criminal lack of chocolate! I had SIX kids here today at one point… only three were mine (and luckily no bathroom mishaps). I gulped down some coffee, tried to write, then gave up. I had a good glass of wine after dinner, then watched back to back episodes of The Office. It felt like a mini-vacation, minus the cabana boy. Next time I’ll have to remember the cabana boy!

  7. kate hopper on April 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Okay, so it sounds like I need a long walk, chocolate, warm weather, a cabana boy, and new glasses. (The glasses and the chocolate I can do for sure. I have an appointment for an eye exam on Tuesday, which I’m hoping will help. How can I focus when I can’t focus?)

  8. Sista GP on April 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I have not done any real writing in almost a year. I know it’s because I’ve put all else before it, work, new house, family. Until my home/work/family life is organized, I’ll never be able to focus inside, where my words are born. I am taking steps to achieve this way of life, one at a time.