|My writing space|
But the projects… oh, the projects! It’s delicious to have projects. I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on something akin to a sequel to Free to Be, but done in a fictional style. Autobiographical fiction, they call it. Though I’ve long been daunted by writing fiction, a good friend and fellow author has given me a push and a whole heap of encouragement to try my hand at it (and, as always and of course, I have Denny’s full support and enthusiasm). It’s a different sort of bird altogether, I tell you what. I find it much more difficult than the writing I’ve done over the last two decades, but I do so love to learn and I’m learning a good deal. The tricky thing is not putting too much pressure on myself. Naturally, I’m my own worst enemy. Aren’t we all?
Along the way my friend had the idea to write something together, something light, fun, and rather absurd, an ebook we can write quickly and sell cheaply. So, we spun off a ridiculous romantic parody and are having an absolute blast with it. I’ve set my other project aside for the time being, realizing that by collaborating with an experienced, talented, and, thankfully, very patient writer, I have the opportunity to learn in ways I couldn’t on my own. There are many tricks he’s learned over the years and he’s throwing them all at me. He’s figured out my learning style and sort of gotten into my head, able to guide me through any rough spots. He, his lovely lady, and my Denny are thoroughly enjoying watching me spread my wings and grow in confidence. I feel quite blessed (all praise to his Noodly Highness [wink]). Other people pay good money for half such mentorship. Man, I gots good peeps.
Carving out the time to write, that’s one of the difficult parts. Denny is taking over much of the children’s schooling as well as the cooking and such, attempting to free me to write (have I mentioned that before? I think I mentioned that). But writing has often been my…hmm... dessert. Something I got to do when all my work and other things were done. Like a quiet moment with a warm brownie and a glass of milk when the wee ones go down for a nap. Since Denny entered the picture and saw the potential in my writing, we’ve gradually made the shift to prioritizing it. Seeing the success of Free to Be was a good kick in the behind. But in the beginning we had to sort out some of my other projects to see what might be able to help support us. We still make and sell goat milk soap and I still do a bit of sewing and crafting (all available locally and from our website), but honestly, for a while there I was getting a little stressed trying to make it all successful. Success takes time and energy. With a large family and a small farm, I was spread thin. Partly I was still trying to do most of it myself, as I’ve always done, and not leaning much on Denny, somewhat to his frustration. I’ve learned a lot about partnership in the last year and a half, that’s for sure! Denny’s been so patient. He’s just… mmm. He’s an incredible man.
Well, one day this spring Denny was consoling me through a bit of stress. We talked about where my focus should be; soap, sewing, writing, or whatever. He held my hand, wiped at my tears, and tenderly asked me a question I won’t soon forget.
“Sweets, what do you want to do?"
Dang, I still tear up thinking about it. S’cuse me a moment.
See, Denny and I have an understanding: we have one life to live, we want to live it to the fullest. We will sacrifice the standard American luxuries—new cars, big houses, fancy toys, etc.—to live a truly rich life enjoying each other, working together, spending time with and enjoying the children, having equally meaningful friendships, getting our hands dirty tending a bit of land and making it beautiful. Earning money to cover the necessities must be done from home if at all possible if we want to see this happen. Earning money in a way we enjoy—even better. And with a minimalist lifestyle, we figure we can make it happen. We just need the focus.
So, what do I want to do? I want to write. Hands down, no hesitation, beyond a shadow of a doubt, if I can help keep a roof over our heads with something that brings me deep satisfaction, then absolutely yes it would be writing.
And it’s still so moving that Denny wants to see me happy. That he cares. That he cares enough to ask and cares enough to help make it happen. He trusts me and my writing. I want to say he has faith in me, but he’d scoff at that. He trusts.
Aaaagggghhh! It’s overwhelming. Loving this damned life.
Now, back to work.