Mother Artist, The Everyday

The Problem with Persona

The Problem with Persona

I’ve always struggled to finish writing projects. Since finishing NaNoWriMo last year, I’ve added just a bit over ten thousand words to that project (which is also my project for this year). I’ve felt embarrassed by that. How can I be so diligent to write for a month and then barely work on my work-in-progress for a year?

I have so many books outlined, half finished manuscripts and screenplays, collections of short stories and poems sitting in my closet and my hard drive.

I love creating. I love writing. I love ideas and the potential of possibilities.

But I’m also in a certain season of life. I’m a wife to a pastor. I’m a homeschooling mother to four children, ages four to eleven. I lead our women’s ministry and our Wild + Free nature group. I do a lot. Many have told me over the years I do too much (& that I make them feel bad about themselves by doing what I do🙄…but that’s for another day) and that is the struggle. Maybe I do do too much.

Maybe I don’t. (Either way, the peanut gallery doesn’t get to decide.)

The other night I was sharing frustrations with my husband about a particular issue and how it’s stolen my mental energy and physical time, preventing me from focusing on or accomplishing other goals. That spiraled into a exasperation on the limitations of my time and energy divided over my interests, my husband encouraged me in two ways by asking,

Who do you do these things for? The seen results? Applause?

Do you feel God has called you to these things?

I know God has called me to serve in these ways…in homeschooling, in writing, in teaching women to know the Word, in gathering a community of families in nature, in caring for the church family alongside my husband, in mothering, and in building a home. I do these things not for myself. If I was in it for the feel good, happy, easy results I would’ve quit them all multiple times over. And don’t think I haven’t tried.

For so long I’ve tried to divide myself among these different categories. Feeling I could only truly be one, that it’s only socially acceptable to have one persona, so to speak, interest, or ambition. I’ve been the homeschool blogger, the fiction writer, the mother artist, the Christian blogger, the church lady, the nature mom, even the scrapbooking blogger at one point.

The problem is I am all of these things. They are all defining parts of who I am, how I process life, make decisions, and live in the day to day.

I create, write, think, and dream in each of these areas. To

When I think I’ve failed at the fiction writing, I’m reminded