Writing and Nursing

Today, I came across an old quote I had saved from the book The Writer’s Life. Essentially a collection of quotes from the diaries of famous writers like John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Mark Twain, etc., the compilers of the book went through authors’ diaries and put together a new book—it is organized in to chronological sections starting with excerpts written in youth and then thoughts about the writing process, fame, ambition, and so forth, and then concludes with thoughts about death, life’s work, and immortality.

From Rosellen Brown, this quote felt particularly relevant to me:

“I know that for me, writing has something in common with nursing the baby. I can’t do it if I don’t do it all the time. Put it aside to build up strength, the flow will dwindle and finally disappear. When the baby was at my breast ten times a day, I had a rare secret feeling that we were violating a law of nature, defying a form of entropy…One cannot hoard some things. The more I gave the baby, the more I had to give her, and had I tried to conserve myself, I would have found that I conserved nothing.”

I once read somewhere else that after you have been writing a blog for some time, you will discover that you have generated a significant body of work. I love that. I can think about blogging as “wasting time” or as something to do only when I have a few extra minutes, or, I can look at it as an opportunity to contribute to my body of work in the world. This is my 469th blog post here! Anyway, this is why I decided not to completely quit blogging, but instead to set aside some dedicated time on Wednesdays to write a post (even if it is a short one). I do find that I need the “proper” time to write, or the flow just isn’t there and can’t be forced. That isn’t true of nursing—I can do that anywhere, anytime! (Well, though it, too, can’t be forced!).

I’ve had emails from several readers wanting to read more about homeschooling and how I “structure my day.” I told my husband that and he asked, “did you say, ‘I’d like to know that too?'” ;-D I’ve also had a request to write about elimination communication. I plan to write about both these topics soon. My nursling will be 8 months tomorrow and my biggest boy will turn eight years old on the 21st, so I’d like to write about both of those occasions before tackling homeschooling and ECing.

This SO isn’t an exciting or earth-shaking post, but here it is anyway…!

7 thoughts on “Writing and Nursing

  1. Eight years! Wow. That’s BIG.

    I remember when Noah was a baby and the three-year-olds all looked monstrous, impossible, somehow unlovable to me. Now he’s five. It’s so clichéd, but still.

    Also: what a great quotation. I’m trying to figure out how my life in the next few years can include more writing (I have a couple/few book projects I’d like to do, but I’m finally accepting that I cannot work full time and parent and gestate and blog and write a book and be a happy healthy person: it’s too much pressure, just unrealistic for me)–I like the breastfeeding / writing habit analogy.

  2. Molly I have a feeling we could sit down an have a long talk. If the homeschooling/ecing/blogging and many things on our plates didn’t get in the way of course. I’ve scaled back my personal blogging a lot. Thought about stopping but it’s my baby–my very own labor of love. I’m happy I I can get one post a week. We’re about to celebrate my oldest’s 7th birthday next week!

    • Not to mention birth, birth, birth! 😉 Maybe we’ll have a chance for a real life chat sometime in the future! Any chance you’re coming to the 2012 CAPPA conference?

      I’m coming to a place where I can feel okay with a once per week post. I want to post every day though–I have ideas for posts every day.

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