with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I find sometimes I forget what it means, myself, to call myself a writer. Freelance work is spotty these days. Much of what I do is working on creative pieces that don’t pay—yet, if ever. What the hell do you think you’re doing? the grumpy inner voice demands. Who the hell do you think you are?
I decided I needed a kickstart, a refresher course to remind me what it is, in this bleak and muddy season, to call myself a writer—to BE a writer. I learned about a Winter Writers Retreat, all women, in a cabin in the woods in SE Ohio. Did I dare?
I’ve been blogging and working as a freelance writer for years now, but I rarely take a chance on meeting other writers in real life. Social anxiety cripples me at times, which is difficult to explain to those who don’t know me well. I’m friendly enough, exuberant, even, when cornered in a grocery aisle or at a school meeting. But it doesn’t come easy, making new friends, keeping up with the old ones. I am amazed by others’ seemingly adept social skills.
I decided that it was high time I put on my big-girl panties and met some other writerly folk. So I went to the retreat. I got back home yesterday, changed, so damn glad I’d taken the chance, nudged myself out of my comfort zone.
One weekend, ten amazing, soulful women. Hiking, talking, making fires, tackling writing exercises, sharing our lives, swapping photographs of our dogs and children, discussing our goals for our work, networking, collaborating, and drinking. Red wine. A whole lot of it.
Well, we’re writers, after all.
I came away from the weekend with nine new friends and colleagues, pages of raw writing, a clearer sense of what I’d like to do next, and a renewed sense of purpose as a writer.
Next time, when my girls ask what I do, I’m going to have a better answer.
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