Justine: When Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing Life

eight ladies writing, justine covington, family work balance, writer's lifeLast Friday, while packing up the kids, dog, and husband for a weekend getaway, I phoned my mom and dad to see how they were doing on their trip to my sister’s house. What started as an innocuous conversation turned out to be a near hang-up on my part. And it started with a simple question my mom asked:

“So when are you going to finish this book?”

That was not the time to ask me about the book. I’d just come back from ten amazing days in England and was still jet-lagged, yet was so inspired and ready to do war with the problems I’d been facing in my story (and had been ignoring for no other reason than a sense of apathy that I’d never be able to solve them). However, on my return, I was absolutely barraged by normal family demands, which resulted in almost zero time to do anything writing-related. I knew this would happen, but it didn’t diminish my frustration that I hadn’t been able to work on my story at all. Everyone’s allowed to be frustrated, right?

You just can’t Continue reading

Michaeline: Commencement

Black and white photo from 1937 showing three women in graduation caps and lab coats mixing up a science experiment while riding on a flower-bedecked car.

Go ahead! Mix a metaphor and get ready to ride! It’s graduation weekend!!
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Ah, the end of spring, and the glorious beginning of summer. It’s commencement season in the US, a time when people graduate, and begin the next steps of building their lives. And every year, commencement speakers are invited to institutions large and small to impart words of wisdom to guide those steps.

One of my favorite commencement speeches is one given by Neil Gaiman for the students graduating from the University of the Arts in 2012. The self-educated Gaiman, who never graduated from an institution but has a romantic fondness and idealization of them (he says), talks a little bit about his journey. He mused about Continue reading

Nancy: Quotes and Clichés for Writers

Quotes for Writers

Seize the day.

Get your butt in the chair.

You can’t edit a blank page.

Just do it.

We writers tell each other these things. We tell ourselves these things. Sometimes daily. We mean well; we really do. But like all clichés, these word glommed together and uttered repeatedly tend to lose their meaning. They end up not motivating us after all. Continue reading