I've been down in my cups lately; a combination of factors
in our household. I can most often get through all the hurdles by doing the
thing that keeps me sane. Writing, drawing and making things. Happy and bouncy
with a million things on the go and juggling them all with heart racing and eyes
gleaming at the challenge, my days are always too short. I fear that I will die
before I get to finish all the things I want to do in life; and the women in my
family live a long time- so my demise isn't imminent. But right now I can't get
motivated at all and I sit staring out the window feeling blue.
Surrounded by writery and illustratory friends last night
over a pot luck dinner (after Melinda Syzmanik's book launch of 'A Winter's Day in 1939
' which you MUST buy for your kids and then read it yourself) I realised
why I have felt so deflated and unable to build enthusiasm for my next project.
Creating a book is a very visceral thing. You pull out everything from your
heart and soul and pour it in; there is hard work, self doubt, more hard work
and more self doubt. You get it done and send it off and wonder if this baby
will grow to be a good and useful member of society or be the victim of cot
death before it has a chance to focus and smile. Writer friends understand
this. They know that being a creative is not necessarily a happy, rose filled
vocation. We are driven; and sometimes that sends us a little bananas. Luckily
we all sit in same fruit bowl.
The latest book which is now off to print took me 5 months all
through spring and summer. A shortish gestation really but is the culmination
of years of my art practice. It's the sharing of 80% of everything I know to
date- the other 20% is too advanced for the age level of the intended readers.
But it took 100% of my effort; gathering resource, writing, illustrating, creating,
photography, digital work and revisions. My head feels empty now- like I've
transferred the contents of my hard drive to a cloud and lost the password.
I'm worn out after the labour and still in a tired haze. I
did too much too soon after giving birth and possibly have a little post natal
depression. I'm going to cut myself a little slack and scale back on getting
back to work in a hurry. The book is due in July by which time I'll be full of
motherly love for it and proudly show it off everywhere. I've named it already; 'Wearable Wonders.' I
hope it's a good baby.
The illustration is from a poem I wrote for Next magazine when I had my regular column there some years ago. It's called Cry Baby.
you got a moment free?
God I need to see you,
spare some time for me).
it's really for my baby,
screams all day and night
I'm about to lose the plot).
grizzling's fairly steady,
was wondering, is it ears?
I'm constantly in tears).
there something I could give him
a massive dose of morphine,
is that against the law?).
I know it might be teething,
I just can't get him down,
if I don't get some sleep soon,
go screaming round the town).
try and rest, thanks,
it might just do the trick,
thanks for your advice to me,