In which I am stalling and just writing – on a pumpkin

Brian and the tines brought home a little pumpkin from the community garden along with bags and bags of cucumbers that I promptly declared that I would not pickle. I scrawled a few lines on the tiny pumpkin because somehow, I’m driven to write words, even with Sharpies on gourds.

You know how kids are so exhausted when they start school? I hear from my friends about their kindergartners coming home, worn clean out, collapsing to sleep still in their Dora backpacks straps. Anne has not had that transition, but instead, it is mine. We’re two weeks into homeschooling and I’m exhausted. I think teachers need raises, I mean, honestly, did you know that kids go to school, like, every day? So every night, I”m figuring out lesson plans and during the afternoons, she studiously calls me Teacher for some reason even though I’m trying to get her to stop it. I’m not a teacher, I say, I’m your Mum. And in my head, I’m all of it and none of it here, too, so we’re reading a lot and Joe squirms and squirms and squirms but I’ve figured out he’s listening while he’s moving so it doesn’t bother me – much – anymore and Evelynn observes us all, wisdom.

I read this and now I feel like he read my mail. Because yes, guilty, sir.  I’m stalling like crazy because I can feel this brick in my chest, the one chanting writeitoutwriteitoutwriteitoutwriteitout and it scares me half to death because what if it isn’t any good and what if no one reads it and what if I’m just another hack and what if what if what if it succeeds? I am halfway finished the book I think might actually have some value, maybe even be a-real-with-a-cover-book someday, but I haven’t even opened the file in days and days.  And then I have the book that I’m sure will never be published because it’s nothing and everything all at once, it’s only in my skin still. Both of them wanting time and so instead I write a blog post, make cookies and eat too many, refinish a bookcase because clearly I am nuts.

I wait all day long to write at night and then, when everyone is in bed and Brian is out working for yet another night, I collapse into my chair and think, oh, gracious, I’m just too tired to even think. I mutter and think and yearn for time to write, to create, all day and then when it comes, I’m all Let’s See What’s Going On With The Twitter.

Last night, I typed out query letters. I printed off my own work onto a page and suddenly the words that I loved and bled out seemed small and worthless but I folded up the computer paper anyway, slid it into an envelope along with the envelope that they, the literary elite, will use to send it back to me with a typed rejection and today Brian dropped them in the mailbox, asking them to think it’s worth a bit of ink on their paper. And then that will make me a writer?
Even this, this just-write challenge is me, stalling.
Linked up with thanks for the time with Heather, the lovely one, at The EO.

Just Write

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  • Leah Cadieux

    Praying you feel encouraged today – good for you for sending out your letters!  I can’t wait to read your book.  Also about Anne remember how much she learned before you did *homeschool* just by living your daily life and ease into what works for you – most homeschoolers I know do their official ‘work’ in a small fraction of the day.

    • Sarah Bessey

      True, true. We’re finding our rhythm slowly!

  • Arianne Segerman

    you sent them! so you can’t even say you’re stalling because you made that step. :)

    when we started homeschooling, someone wise told me it would take a full year for us to find our groove. what works, what doesn’t. what i can tolerate, what i can’t. spending each afternoon planning the next day does sound like something i’d burn out on! i think as you get into your groove, not only will experience have you less exhausted and “quicker” at the tasks, but you’ll free yourself up to find the tweaks that make everything easier. 

    so excited that you sent those letters…


    • Sarah Bessey

      A year! *faint* 

      And thanks for your encouragement. Only one rejection so far out of 5 sent so we’ll see, eh?

  • Heatheroftheeo

    You just described my most every day. Except for homeschooling, but I mean…just the doubt and angst, the writing need and the insecurity and why can’t I just keep believing that I’m GOOD at it? So yeah…thank you. You resonate. And that is what makes you an amazing writer no matter what you write. 

    • Sarah Bessey

      Thank you, friend.

  • Dulce

    I can’t wait to buy your book, and I know I am not alone.  <3

    • Sarah Bessey

      You always encourage me, luv. Always. xo

  • Leigh Kramer

    Jeff’s post hit me square in the face today.  It’s been a hard writing week and it’s far too easy to absorb everyone else’s words but my own.  I have 3 half-written guest pieces and the beginning of the next sentence of my WIP but I’m stuck.  More than that, I’m stalling.  I give myself grace but I know the hard work of sitting down to write anyway is ahead.

    Thank you for your loveliness today.  The query process is scary but I am certain that one day soon we’ll see your name smiling at us from a shelf.  I can’t wait!

  • Christy

    I’ll read it!

    • Sarah Bessey

      Ah, bless. Thank you!

  • Melissa

    Oh, I can so relate! And I am going to have to copy that pumpkin idea. 😉

    You are a writer, no matter what comes back in those envelopes.

    • Sarah Bessey

      Go for it – it’s quite satisfying (and cheap!) for fall decor.

  • Marybeth Thielke

    Sending much love from South Dakota <3 

    I can relate all too well :)


  • Idelette

    So beautiful … I can relate in so many ways. But, we have to talk–before you send off a whole manuscript. Can you homeschool at Starbucks? ; )

  • Idelette

    O, and by the way, I am pre-ordering my copy of every book you write. Just saying. xoxo

    • Sarah Bessey

      I love you, friend. Can’t wait for Thursday!

  • Baby Girl Gift Ideas

    I like it. I’ll read it!

  • Jenn

    I read this at work so I couldn’t’ comment but as you know I love your writing…I may only be one person but I’m pretty sure what you have to say needs to be heard. You are an amazing champion of women and motherhood. Love the pumpkin by the way!

  • Kelly @ Love Well

    This is so beautiful, Sarah. Even the mundane has depth and beauty and a mystery about it with you.

    Which is why I can say: Do not believe the lies. You are a writer because you write. Because The Maker put words into your soul that you bring as your gift. No matter what those publishers say, do not believe anyone but the One who made you and has sung over you since the beginning of time.

    You are amazing.

    • Sarah Bessey

      *thankyouthankyouthankyou* Needing this today….