I haven’t been blogging so much these past months, and I’ve missed you.

Two big reasons I haven’t been writing here so much:
1. pregnancy, and all the nausea and napping that it entails
2. writing the Playing Big book

I’ve seen again and again how hard it is for bloggers to keep blogging when they are writing a book manuscript. I always thought I would find a way to do both at once, but it’s tough. Your mind is one creative sandbox or the other. Swimming in one ocean or the other. For the past few months, I’ve been in the book ocean.

Over this holiday, I took a few days off from working on the book. I love blogging so much that, to my own surprise, what came up inside of me almost immediately during that downtime was the desire to write to all of you. I wanted to see the WordPress canvas I compose blog posts on, and do the little jaunt of writing that is a blog post, a process that’s come to feel wonderfully familiar and magical for me.

So, a check-in post.

I’m — gosh — about halfway through my third trimester. This little guy kicks and moves all the time – tap-dancing and taekwandoe going on in there. I’m bigger than I could have ever imagined getting. Walking, yoga, water, stretching, napping, and some supplements are critical to my daily well-being.

Pregnancy has already taught me a lot about something I’m sure parenting will teach me more about: SIMPLIFYING. Picking your battles. Learning when to say no to the endless opportunities to gather more information in our information age.

Big picture, I feel blessed, in awe, and am trying to do what I’m sure is impossible, which is wrap my mind around what is about to happen in a a month or so.

On the second front, the Playing Big book. I think many of you know I’m working on a book, Playing Big: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Brilliance in a World that Needs Women’s Voices, coming out from Penguin next fall. The writing process is going beautifully–jeez feel like I need to knock on wood as I write that! I’ve been writing steadily, morning after morning after morning, and am turning in the first draft of the manuscript to the publisher in a few weeks.

There are two things I’m feeling particularly proud of about the creative process. At this point, these would be some of my “lessons learned” to share. The first is that I’ve managed to reserve judging my own work through most of the process. I just wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Then when I went back and edited out the parts that didn’t feel compelling, or powerful or helpful enough, I didn’t let that process of discernment translate into any inner critic condemnations or panicky feelings about the whole manuscript. I just saw it as part of a good writing process that there would be lots to edit out. This feels big: that even in seeing the weaker parts of whatever we create, we can stay present to the stage of the process we are in, and not let those weaker parts cause us to judge or panic about the whole work. (P.S. I think that principle holds up for evaluating our life decisions and transitions as well as our other creative works!)

The second thing I feel proud of is that I took risks with the material. I didn’t compromise what I really think in the name of what I think will be popular. And I didn’t go abstract or clinical, but did my best to be faithful to the tone I want the book to have: sisterly, honest, warm, as well as grounded and full of insights and practices that are truly helpful.

And the third part of my update is this. Right now, I’m writing in front of a fireplace in the woods, dog and my parenting copilot-to-be nearby. We’ve spent a lot of time “doing nothing” this week, allowing ourselves to be graced by empty space and empty time. Giving ourselves permission to sleep and laze about and sleep some more. So good.

Happy holidays, and sending love,

Tara