I spoke on a panel a few weeks ago at the Bay Area Book Festival. The panel was moderated by local literary icon, Michelle Tea. (If you need an escape, her latest book, “How to Grow Up” will make you laugh out loud.)
The authors on the panel represented a range of genres (from children’s books to literary fiction to non-fiction) but we all had two things in common: love for our kids, and a burning desire to write.
Most of us had never met until right before we took the stage, but that didn’t stop us from having a fun, intimate, and sometimes raucous conversation about what it’s like to create a life around children and a life around writing. The video of our session is now online.
The experience was a little bittersweet for me. I started a new job in February—you know, a Big Girl job. Full time. Commute. It’s similar to the job I described in Maxed Out except way cooler, and I’m not maxed out, I’m really enjoying it. (Really!) But it has been well-documented here and elsewhere that I can’t do everything, at least not all at once. And so writing is on the back burner for the moment. Maybe you know what that’s like…
At least two of the writers on the panel, Caroline De Robertis and Michelle Tea, are at a point in their careers where they make their living from writing. Yes, you heard that right. They do what they love AND make enough to keep their kids flush in Honey Nut Cheerios. While others, like myself, make a living in other ways and then try to figure out how to squeeze writing into the margins. There’s no one right way to do this; everyone has made sacrifices in one way or another. Anyway, we talked about that and a bunch of other stuff. You can watch the video here>
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In other news, I’ll be giving a keynote in October with my colleague, Katrine Rau, at the Service Design Conference in New York. If there are any designer types out there planning to attend, please be sure to come say hello.
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