Tuesday, October 16, 2012


After NYC, the booklaunch and the online book party, there was still work to do! Wonderful readers from all over had ordered books from Porter Square Books, so Rain Dragon and I (with good friend Libby) returned to sign them. All 110 of them.

Needless to say, after the first 50, Rain Dragon got a little antsy in the stroller and I was soon signing with her in my lap. I was absolutely thrilled to be signing the books and so grateful to everyone who ordered, but it was a tricky juggling act.

I realize that this is symbolic of my life from now on. As I look ahead to the new house, new events and new books (hopefully), I can already see the complications. When I wrote Starry River of the Sky, it was a consuming process and it was purposefully so. I wanted to create a book to the best of my ability, dedicating all my time, focus and passion into it.

I don't know if I can do that now, yet, I worry that the quality of my work will suffer as a result. I've gotten used to focusing on one project at a time. But, I guess I will just have to learn to multitask.

And, of course, I wouldn't want it any other way...but would welcome any tips or suggestions on how!


Hao Bao Bao said...

Grace, I have also felt this way. I think all working parents go through this. My job (I am an art history professor/researcher) is so consuming, and I love it for that. Parenting is so demanding, and I enjoy nothing more than being with my kids. So how to negotiate this new identity as a working parent? I've had many moments where I feel like I am doing each "job" half-way. And it is true, I do put less time into my course prep than I used to, and my research has to fit into the limited time I have available. I'm often answering student e-mails while putting my kids to bed, and I feel badly that I am not giving my children my full attention. At the same time, I also find that I am a better teacher and parent because I have to bring these two roles together. Talking about art with my kids helps me be a better teacher. My kids go along on research trips, and I think that enriches their lives (it also makes me happier to do research with them in tow). I think you'll find your writing process is different, but I also think you'll find you have new perspectives now, especially as you get inside of your child's mind and think about how she sees the world. All of these new experiences are really going to enrich your writing.

Mary Anne Gruen said...

As Hao Bao Bao said, everything will enrich your writing. It's getting from here to there that's hard. Somehow make some time for yourself so you can have the energy to do it all. And make sure to accept as much help as you can.

anne said...

you will do it - by keeping each part separate, and yet, letting each part inform the other :) When it comes time to write, you will make a schedule and write. When it's time to really focus on family, you will focus. Your life will be full and awesome (just as it has been, but with different components)and you will be fine. As others have said, learn to include "help" balancing things in your life. No reason to feel you have to do it All By Yourself.

DMS said...

Just embrace it all! You are doing a wonderful job! Your artwork and writing are absolutely magical! ~ Jess

Janet Wong said...

You're doing a great job of balancing and you will continue to be a Super Mom in every way! Don't worry--just practice signing books without looking! (Of course I'm joking but once I had a lively one-minute conversation with Robert San Souci while he managed to write a paragraph-long inscription in my book AT THE SAME TIME; the man has two brains.)

Grace Lin said...

Thanks, all! I really appreciate the encouragement...and I am already taking the advice. I'm wheedling my mother-in-law to come help watch the baby so I can work!