What I really want: Musings on creativity and pregnancy

June 1, 2012

I had a chat with someone yesterday regarding creativity and she brought up two points that I have been trying to avoid thinking about lately: “1.) It seems like you haven’t been blogging quite as much as you used to.” and 2.) “What are your future goals?”

#1 and #2 are both tied into the same topic, which is writing and ambition. I’ve been lucky in life that I manage to get paid to write, but the strange thing about creative success, I’ve found, is that makes you a little less hungry. I don’t spend my free time wracking my brain for blog or freelance topics like I used to because I’ve come to rely upon the semi-permanent writing gigs I do have, or the fact that I can squeak by with blogging three days a week instead of five because someone (that being WBEZ) came along and told me I can. Meanwhile, my goals, creatively, by and large used to be: 1.) Find a way to get paid to write and 2.) Publish a book.

Well, done and done. What next? I suppose I will figure it out after I have this baby.

Oh, the baby! Well, here’s another thing. Being pregnant puts a slight shift on your (by which I mean “my”) ambitions and motivations. So what are my future goals, really, right now? I’m going to dig deep and try to be honest. Here’s what they really are:

To eat storebought donuts and cinnamon rolls from the refrigerated section. Nothing really is stopping me from doing this except that it has been made quite explicit to me that gaining too much weight during pregnancy is bad. It’s bad for me and bad for the baby and bad for everyone who has to look at or deal with me. I get it. It’s just unfortunate that sometimes being pregnant makes you really want to do some of the things that you aren’t supposed to do, like eat crappy and also drink. As I write, this is my number-one desire.

To clean. I want to throw everything that is inessential out of the house. I want the possibility of empty spaces that will get filled up instead of ever-growing piles. Every book that I’ve held onto for the sake of “we might use it one day!” is my enemy. VHS cassettes we held onto for some reason: get out of here. Paint cans must come off the basement floor. I want to get all the baby stuff set up so I can stop thinking about it. I want to get everything we don’t need out of the house in one full swoop with the knowledge that I won’t have to do it again anytime soon (with apologies to my mother-in-law but as much as I appreciate you thinking of me, please save yourself the postage on the windbreaker you found recently that your son bought in the seventh grade at Merry-Go-Round. I don’t think I need it.)

To write more. Because realizing that I have been slacking a bit makes me feel bad, plus in several months I don't believe I'll have much time to be very prolific, so I should built up a little surplus of overachievement now so the guilt of slacking will be delayed.

Also, to finish my book. Or rather, just to have it written and sold. Craft? To hell with craft. Just give me the knowledge that I finished something, please. And maybe some money.

To not do anything. Because I don’t wanna.

To do everything: Before it’s too late.

To have this baby. No offense to it, but I just want to sit quietly without feeling something squirming around inside me.

To not have this baby. Because, holy crap. Have you read about these things? Apparently they are a lot of work, a lot more work than writing a book or cleaning the basement. And sometimes I am worried about this.

We’ll see how much of this to-do list I can accomplish in the next three months. Probably not all of it, but at least some of it (especially the parts of it that have to do with icing.)