I have a confession for you: sometimes I used to get so mad at the Inklings. I have felt resentful because C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and all these other writers, real writers, had luxuries like housekeepers and pubs and colleagues and writing cabins and a way to pay their bills, they had creature comforts and every time the Muse arrived, they didn’t have to shush her, plead with her to come back later because, right now, Muse, can’t you see? Preschool, supper, diapers, bath times, and everything wonderful in my life needs my attention.
I’m not someone who has pursued a very traditional path to becoming a writer. Even now, my life doesn’t resemble the Great Writers and their habits.
Instead, I imagined my little yellow book while I was a full time working mum with another one on the way. And then I actually wrote most of it while I was on maternity leave with a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a newborn. I remember once crying in self-pity, “Hell, anyone could have written the Narnia books if they had a housekeeper and sustained silence. Even I could construct Middle Earth if I had a full night’s sleep!”
Instead, I wrote most of my book at my kitchen table during naptimes or sitting on the bathroom floor while a kid was in the bathtub or at the public library with earphones on so that the study groups of teenagers wouldn’t distract me.
This is the season of chasing my dream in the Midst of my life and in the Afters of my life: in the midst of raising tinies, after supper, after bath times, after stories, after kitchen dance parties, in the midst of Saturday morning cartoons, after bills are paid, after work, after groceries are put away, after laundry is folded.
I write after it all and in the midst of it all because this life is what I’m writing about….
If it wasn’t like this, I don’t know what I would write about anyway. Our lives are always content. I remember hearing once that all theology has its roots in autobiography.