An Artist Residency in Motherhood (read more about my experience here.) As promised, they shared our collective experience in a recent episode on Stella Fiore's Cut + Paste radio show on Staten Island's Maker Park Radio (listen here.) The residency, the radio show and the aftermath continue to be supportive and illuminating.
I started listening to the show at five a.m. two days after it aired. I listened to more of it as I walked home from dropping our child off at school and then finished listening to the program over lunch. I was surprised that I was able to finish listening in one day. That "interrupted" listening followed the very nature of writing while parenting and working.
|Screenshot of Stella Fiore and Amy Shearn |
during the Cut + Paste Radio show
Stella and Amy brought up many important issues regarding mother artists' sense of permission to create and our feelings of validity around the work that we produce. Since most of our work will not (immediately or perhaps ever) support our families, how do we quantify or qualify our creative time? How do we see our creative time as valid? Amy put it well when she asked, "How (do we) assign a value (on our creative work) to the outside world?"
Stella noted that writing as a parent is "all about the economy of time." Later she added, "by continuing to be a writer, you are setting an example for your children that you can continue to self-actualize even when you are a parent." She noted that in graduate school, her burning question was about how to continue writing after grad school or a residency or any period of focused time generally unconnected to everyday life. These - and more - are the questions addressed on the show.
Amy noted that balance looks different for different writers. There are ebbs and flows, stops and starts. And that's what this group and radio show was about: the many ways that a writer, especially a parent writer, can carve out time and attention.
I am pretty sure that someone told me about An Artist Residency in Motherhood sometime after I gave birth. Did I remember when I heard about Stella and Amy's group? No. And that's a bummer. It is hard to juggle/remember things as a parent and sometimes we miss out on important things and ideas literally in front of us. Below, I'm gathering resources here for you with the hope that you can refer to it when you are ready and refer back to if you forget something.
I encourage all parent writers and friends of parent writers to listen to the show for the community, wisdom and music following the show. (You can hear a line or two about my experience at the 53 minute mark.)
Here is the link to the show and some additional resources mentioned in the show:
Cut + Paste ARIM 2018 Facebook Group (Stella Fiore will approve mother writers who are interested in joining the conversation and next residency)
Cut + Paste Radio's website
Cut + Paste on Twitter
Stella Fiore's website
Amy Shearn's website
Amy Shearn on Cut + Paste radio this fall discussing motherhood and writing
An Artist Residency in Motherhood
Commonplace podcast with Sheila Heti and Sarah Manguso (which refers to this earlier conversation between Rachel Zucker and Sarah Manguso and Sheila Heti's book Motherhood)
Making Art During Fascism (download a pamphlet from Beth Perkins)
The Baby, the Book, and the Bathwater: an essay in The Paris Review by Heather Abel
Poem Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich
Let's Talk About the Fantasy of the Writer's Lifestyle: an essay in LitHub by Rosalie Knecht
100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write: book by Sarah Ruhl
For more parenting / writing related resources, scroll through the resources on the right side of this website and click through the section, "Residency & Funding Resources for Parent Writers".
I hope you'll add your own favorite resources for parent writers in the comments section below.