Not Having It All, So I Can Write

New energy is permeating my life, bringing some surprising changes. I'm not exactly sure how long I've been in survival-mode, but I don't think I'm in it any more. Dare I say, I'm in thriving-mode? Twenty days short of my fiftieth birthday, and I'm finally living the life I've always hoped for—the writing life. 

I didn't realise how much I would have to let go, which is why it's taken me so long. I tried to juggle family life, with work life, with dancing life, with tarot life, with writing life. Simply put, I tried to have it all. Isn't that what women are supposed to do?

Eventually, when my nerves and knees were shot, I surrendered. I closed two websites, essentially two businesses and focussed entirely on my writing goals. 

The first thing I noticed was the relief of not having to manage three business platforms. It was like having three hungry kids to feed. The second thing I noticed was the clarity of mind upon waking each morning, knowing I only have to direct my thoughts into one area of creativity. The third thing I noticed was the reading. I've knocked over several books in the last six months, more reading than I've done in years. It's part of a writer's job to read often, but I just couldn't manage all of the things I had to keep up with. 

Another thing I've noticed is increased calmness. I'm not made for multi-tasking, in spite of my gender. It just makes me irritable. Isn't life already multi-tasked enough? Just getting a walk in, some shopping and a load of washing between reading and writing is multi-tasking enough for me. I didn't realise how much my head was spinning until it stopped. 

Now, I'm a recreational dancer and psychic; channelling my Capricorn ambition into writing. This is always how I thought things would be. The dancing and the tarot were a surprise to me, but I always knew I would be a writer. It just took me forty years to build up the confidence to show anyone my work. 

Also, I'm now happy in my home after a long period of wandering through various houses and apartments—downsizing each time to pay the taxes and costs. I can't afford to move again, so I'm lucky to have finally found the nest that's shaped for me. It's quiet, safe and easy to care for. I'm finally home, free to write—my nerves no longer aggravated by the sounds of my neighbours through the walls of the dodgy Aussie build that was my previous apartment.

I feel as though I've been clawing my way through a crowd all of my life, and I've just discovered a clearing. 

After finishing a fourth draft, the memoir is resting. There's still a lot to do to fine-tune it into the shape I want it. But the thing itself has been rendered onto the page, like a blank-faced sculpture with no clothes. I'm keen to get back to it; to pick at it, polish it, turn it this way and that. I hope I can do justice to the themes of it: adoption, abuse, assault and the way predators pick off the vulnerable ones. Today I'll begin my formal research on the effects of adoption by reading The Primal Wound. I suppose the 'normal' thing would have been to do the research prior to writing, but I wanted to get my own impressions onto the page before expanding my knowledge any further. 

There's a sense of rightness permeating my life. This is what I'm made for. This is what I was always made for. But I was waiting for permission from the world to call myself a real writer, as well as trying to establish an ordinary income to support my ambitions. 

Now my advice to writers would be, don't wait for permission to call yourself a writer. Call your own shots and create your own identity. As for the ordinary income, after earning it there's not much energy left for writing, anyway. So I'm risking the leap into full-time writer, hoping I might earn at least a little something to help me keep going.

Happy writing.

Leanne Margaret © 2022

Image of book, The Primal Wound, Understanding the Adopted Child, by Nancy Newton Verrier


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