Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back at work – reclaiming my writerly self

This has been a year of blogging in fits and starts. In many ways, it has been a year of doing several different things, trying out different roles - loving some of those and tolerating few of the others. The only constant through all of this has been the learning and the mothering, tangoing together through the short days and long months, keeping me grounded all through the way.

A few months ago, at the cusp of the first quarter of the year, I tried on that old role of a freelance journalist once again. That beloved role that languished in a heap, growing dusty with every passing year. So I slipped it on tentatively, like someone would a favorite old dress, wondering if mothering a toddler and whirling through the social commitments that form the maze of my days, would allow me to meet those deadlines, catch up with the work. 

Would I be able to chase those stories while chasing a little hurricane around the house? How much of the old pace of work would I be able to weave back into my already full days? Could crawl out of that comfort zone of familiar publications and reach out to newer markets across the seas?

With questions and thoughts zipping around like shooting starts in a velvety black sky, I set forth on this journey, reclaiming a piece of the old, reshaping the landscape of my ‘career’ (or what’s pieced together in shreds of time).

With encouragement from fellow travelers i.e. my husband, mother and a writer friend, I started my second journey (the first one I began at age 13 and continued till I had my son) as a journalist, eking out an adventure around the curves and bends of motherhood and military life. I queried new markets but also wrote for a few of the old ones; I seeked out stories in different places and wrote them up; I worked on doable deadlines and met them. I’ve started collecting new bylines and have been meeting some of the most remarkable people in the process. But this time around, my writing career and my method of work is quite different from its older avatar.

While I listen and learn from other writers out there, who’re earning plenty and working a lot more, here I am choosing the right publications but working at a slower, flexible pace. I write when my son’s at his playschool and play with him when school’s out for the summer. My deadlines aren’t packed tight like before because in this season of my life with a multitude of parenting and social responsibilities, this is what seems realistic. But best of all, I’m enjoying everything – the story and market hunting, the pitching and the waiting, the assignments and the writing.

I know that there will be a time in the near future when my time will open up, like a sky after a spell of silvery rain. There will be time enough for writing, teaching yoga, talking to my health coaching clients. I have all those plans stacked up. But for now, I pray for patience and take with gratitude what I can – time to craft good stories for equally interesting publications, time to draw and paint, time to learn life skills that are more precious than what we acknowledge them to be.

And this brings me to some of the other things I am doing. I started creating art – quick doodles and collages of things that fill me with magic. I’ve also started learning homeopathy and organic gardening, and children’s yoga. I’m baking more (muffins and cookies), and filling some of the other slivers of snatched leisure with yoga, barre and long walks. I’m waiting for a time when we can spend more time as a family, for this nurtures and fulfills us the best.

But for now, I offer gratitude and end with peace.

What have you filled your days with? What new paths and adventures have you explored?

#freelancewriting #freelancewriter #journalist

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on being back and I look forward to reading more from you!!


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