I hope this is the last time I have to tell you guys there are changes. But to be candid, I doubt it. Life is, after all, an exercise in change and adaptation.
This time, the changes are good… I hope.
To backtrack a bit…
I had to do a bit of soul-searching again this summer. I went to an American Heritage Girls convention, and it was fantastic. But I came away challenged to evaluate the position of AHG in my life, and it didn’t fare well in the long run.
Don’t get me wrong. I love AHG. I love having my girls in the program. They like the program. We’ve made a lot of friends there. I’ve seen changes and growth in both of my daughters–especially my oldest one–that are a direct result of AHG. For a while, I’ve been thinking that when my tenure is over as a Troop Coordinator, I would like to be what AHG calls a Ministry Expansion Lead (MEL)–someone who helps develop and grow the program in a geographic area.
But I had an epiphany about a week ago, and a significant piece of it was the realization that a lot of people can do AHG stuff, but only one person can write my stories.
(That person is me, by the way.)
Things will change this year. I am working very hard to set my life up so that I can go back to writing fiction. I’m still a Troop Coordinator, but the troop has grown and changed enough that I can pull back DRASTICALLY without causing any harm. A lot of what I was doing was my own choice, anyway. I can delegate it or just let it go. I have a strong, talented leadership team around me. There’s no reason that my part-time volunteer job should take 20 hours a week anymore. It’s time for me to step back and let other talented people shine.
It’ll take a few more weeks. We’re still working on getting the new program year off to a good start, and I’m away at camp for the next several days and then have family commitments for a week or so. And then my kids all start school–two of them at a new high school, which might require a bit more “momming” than usual at the beginning of a school year.
But it is my goal and my fervent hope that by mid-September or early October, I will be back in the swing of writing and publishing on a regular basis. I don’t think I can devote the amount of time to it that I used to do–no more six- to eight-hour days! But maybe three or four hours a day… That seems doable.
And writing will come before AHG. This I promise you all. Writing will be a higher priority than my volunteer job.
I still have the same old fears, some of the same old anxiety, and a good dollop of the ambivalence toward publishing that I’ve always had.
But I’ve also changed a lot since going dark, and I no longer care about some of things I used to care about. Like income–I just don’t give a poop whether I make money at this. I don’t even give two poops. This is a hobby mentality with career-focused goals.
Bottom line: I write and publish because I am the only one who can tell Connor’s story. And Mairead’s. And Braedan’s, Igraine’s, Logan’s, Minerva’s, Toby’s, Lily’s, Ivy’s, Vic’s, Mabel’s, and all the other thus-far-unintroduced characters that live in my head.
So I will write them. And I will shepherd my girls (and probably a few other girls) through AHG. And I will be wife to my hubby and mother to my kids, and I will knit, and I will be part of my church, and I will do the things I need to do and be obedient with the things I have been given.
And as an act of obedience, I will write.
I suppose you all knew I couldn’t keep this all stuffed down forever, right?
Thanks for hanging with me, y’all.
(p.s. If you comment on this post, it may be a while before it’s approved as I’ll be away from the computer for a good week. And if you’re curious, I monitor comments because of massive spam, not because I’m deleting things. If you’re polite and not a spammer, I’ll approve your comment. :))