While writing yesterday’s post, I remembered this quote from A Circle of Quiet, by the thoughtful and sometimes controversial Madeleine L’Engle.
The various pressures of twentieth-century living have made it almost impossible for the young mother with pre-school children to have any solitude. During the long drag of years before our youngest child went to school, my love for my family and my need to write were in acute conflict. The problem was really that I put two things first. My husband and children came first. So did my writing. Bump. (p. 19)
I read it years ago and scribbled it out, feeling Madeleine’s words consoling my own conflicted spirit. She addressed the issue of solitude as well as the love of family and the need to write being in “acute conflict.” In fact, I’ve paraphrased this several times to fellow writer-moms. I love the last three sentences: “My husband and children came first. So did my writing. Bump.”Bump.It’s more than a bump; it’s sparring.Bam. Thwack. Thud.Compromise can be painful. But in the end, after all that bumping around, I know what has to come first.