Solitude?

I expected things to be hectic, such that I won’t be able to write much once hubby’s ACL reconstruction surgery takes place, but I didn’t expect how agitated it’s making me feel. It’s funny how back in the good old days in school or college, when you’re faced with a deadline for an assignment, most of the times, you don’t feel an urge to finish it right away, (note I wrote “most of the time”). With my writings, I feel very anxious about completing them as soon as possible, way before the deadline.

I noticed that in the very beginning, when I was a newbie in the world of writing, whenever I was done with a piece, which was technically still in its first draft stage, I would be very eager to send it off or proclaim it as the finished piece. Now, however, I tend to hold on to a piece for as long as I can before submitting it, rewording, restructuring, rephrasing, reoutlining, re everything it. It’s little wonder it takes me quite a while to come out with a finished piece nowadays.

Blog posts are different. They are most spontaneous, and more for writing practice, though sometimes, they do come out as refined as finished pieces.

I have been outlining, brainstorming, and free writing on the piece for the Mothering Out Loud: Moms Tell the Truth About Blogging it All anthology for weeks. Melanie had asked if I could come up with a query in the next few weeks. I sent it to her yesterday, after maybe a week of agonizing over what exactly it is I’m going to be writing about. I knew I wasn’t going to be coming up with a full draft to hand in to her, but I’m glad I at least got in a few paragraphs to include in the query.

As for the other anthology (mothering across cultures), I have had the first draft sitting idly in my pendrive for weeks. To be honest, the very topic of the anthology set me thinking more about raising our children ‘across cultures’. I’m not one of those people who are very loyal to one’s culture. Even before I came to the United States, I didn’t care much about abiding by one’s cultural customs or practices. If I do, it’s only because it’s second nature. In other words, I took my culture for granted.

After mulling over this issue of raising our children in an environment that is the farthest from our ‘native’ culture, I have come to the realization that culture is quite an important part of a human being. As a Muslim, Islam comes first, but after the basics, it’s the culture that defines us, to a certain extent.

Well, that piece, will continue to be a work in progress, not so much because of my uncertainty about the whole issue, but more because I can’t escape from the family to write in solitude. As  I’m typing, I have four children making a din in the background. I had come upstairs to their room, turned on the air conditioning, closed the door, and seated myself in front of the computer, escaping from the living room downstairs, only to have hubby shoo them back upstairs in a few minutes. My solitude is thus shattered.

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