Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why Woman's Work?

Since I sent out the first call for submissions for "Woman's Work," everyone has felt compelled to "correct" the spelling of Woman's to Women's. Although I'm quite aware that this newest collection highlights the writings of 40 choice of the title was inspired by the writings of one woman in particular. See the introduction to the anthology for further clarification.


Part of the problem is that I treat writing like a privilege not an obligation.
It comes after everything, after all my other responsibilities.

Maegan “la Mamita Mala” Ortiz
My Writing Life

In many ways, this anthology found its inspiration in blogger/poet/activist Maegan “la Mamita Mala” Ortiz’s essay “My Writing Life,” that appears in the anthology Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta!. Although we had received over 400 submissions for that project, her well-crafted treatise, speaking as it does of a writer’s life that occurred after she breastfed the baby, did the housework, and took care of her partner, is the story of all of the other women who did not meet our submission deadline that year. These twenty-first century women whose lives look very much like those of their sisters from generations ago, only now with jobs, some high-end, some barely making ends meet, to go along with all that “woman’s work” that has always threatened to keep women away from their passions.

Every week I get an email from a woman who laments not finishing that novel, or poem, or memoir that they have been meaning to get to. I tell them to write one page a day, for five minutes, and that before they know it they will have that project completed. But in reality, I don’t live their lives. I don’t have to juggle anything, except my own discipline, to get my writing done. I don’t have the traditional trappings that require that I put anyone first and relegate my writing schedule to a time after everyone is sleeping.

I admire those women who don’t give up in the face of three-hour dance recitals, chicken pox, or last minute fifth grade science projects. They keep stoking that creative fire, believing that they will get back to it and what they have to say is worth saying.

These provocative, funny, and original short stories are from the women who, like Maegan Ortiz, show up to the page deep into the night, after all their woman’s work is done, and let their passions fly.