In Nancy Willard’s The Left-Handed Story: Writing and the Writer’s Life, Willard says that writers have a calling to live “on the interface of two worlds,” the one that gives us dreams, stories, and imagined worlds, and the one that gives us family, friends, community responsibilities, along with jobs, bank accounts, taxes, other responsibilities. Writers struggle to find a balance and not everyone we know understands what a person is really saying about their life when they say, “I’m a writer.” Most people don’t know how much dedication; practice and reflection time is required.
Writers make time for all these competing demands of the writing life, because all of these parts of a writer’s life are essential. Perhaps writing is a bit like a referee trying to keep a tennis match on track; it’s as if each player has decided to play with different rules about boundaries. And just like people committed to their work in other professions, writers must try to balance it all. Making time in the face of living a full and rich life requires us to find ways to make time for all of it. But – as a friend of mine says, “Don’t forget to enjoy the cake.”
Over the past few weeks I have limited my usual blog postings and set aside much of my writing time for my family. Several regular readers sent emails to inquire about the absence of postings on my blog. And, yes. That’s a good thing. But – not to worry! I have returned after a three-week vacation to CA and HI and enjoyed every minute of it. It was – in fact – a honeymoon before my wedding. I used the time to read, reflect and spend time with my partner of 33 years. And on Saturday, May 11, 2013, my partner and I were able to marry. It was a tender and beautiful wedding celebration that formally united, our families and dear friends, as well as our community where we have lived for more than thirty years.
I hesitated about whether to address this deeply personal aspect of my life in my writer’s blog, but it is a part of who I am, and while this is not all that I am, living as I have, has formed me in many ways. I am fortunate to live in Maryland where voters supported the Marriage Equity Law that enabled this celebration of life with my dear Jeanne. And I appreciate the dedication and work of all the people who supported equity.
[Special Thanks to our dear neighbor, Christina Malone for these early photos – the professional photographers should have theirs ready in a couple of weeks. But we couldn’t wait to share.]
I want to acknowledge this joyful moment that helps me value the positive effects of making time for loved ones, friends and community, in order to have a richer more balanced life. I am a better person and writer for having all these loving and supportive connections in my life. It seems to me that the truest writing comes from living fully, loving joyfully, and giving time for life’s immediate experiences. And while I write not only from what I know, I must also write beyond that place, while acknowledging the importance of finding a balance for a well-lived life.
Jan Bowman’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review and others. Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.Another story won the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, and her stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, Pen/O’Henry Awards and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection.
Learn more at www.janbowmanwriter.com or visit blog: http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com