I just got home from the national Romance Writers of America annual conference. I am, of course, completely exhausted!
One evening in the bar, I stumbled into a conversation with a group of three women (only one of whom I’d even met before). For one of the women, it was only her second RWA. Not long after I joined the conversation, she said, “Finally, a conversation about writing! I’ve been waiting two years to talk about writing with writers.”
In the interests of full disclosure, it’s not like I walked up and instantly started talking craft. I just happened to walk up at the right moment.
The interesting thing is, when I asked her what people had been talking about besides craft and writing, she said, “They talk about their kids and their husbands. They talk about their families.” I knew exactly what she meant. At RWA we do talk about our families a lot. We also talk about the industry and our favorite authors. We talk about our editors and our process. We talk about our agents and our blogs. But somehow it always circles back around to our families.
On one hand, I think that annoys some women. On one hand, we’re at a writer’s conference. We pay to talk to other writers … about writing. Furthermore, if we were an organization of mostly men, we would not spend all this time talking about our kids and husbands. Yeah, it might come up. But it would never be thirty percent or more of the conversation.
So I get it.
But at the end of the day, we can’t divorce ourselves from our motherhood. It’s just part of who we are. We can’t turn it off. Being a mother affects our writing, our themes, our productivity and our creativity. Being a mother is tied so tightly to being a writer, I don’t know how not to talk about it. I am a totally different person than that woman who didn’t have kids that I was eight years ago. (Or maybe nine years ago, before my first failed pregnancy.) I am a whole different person and therefore a whole different writer.
So what do you think? If you’re a mom and a something else, can you divorce those parts of yourself? Do you even want to?
Leave a comment and I’ll pick one winner to receive a goodie bag from conference — a cool bag, some neat freebies and books!
I’m Emily McKay, AKA The Hippie Chick Mama. Why Hippie Chick? Well, ’cause I’m one of the those organic-veggie-eating, raw-milk-drinking, yoga-practicing … okay, you get the idea. I’ve got two kiddos. The McDaughter is in the first grade and the McSon just turned four. My husband, The Geek, travels a lot and works with robots and Legos. No, seriously, it’s a real job. I love to cook and bake. When I’m not cleaning up after kids or doing laundry, I write for Harlequin Desire, YA Romcoms under the name of Ivy Adams, and paranormal YA for Berkley.