This year I’m working from home. I get to focus my energy on writing fiction, finishing this novel that’s been in progress for (many) years and writing short stories that I can submit for publication to various Canadian Literary journals.

Submission; that’s the goal. Get the work done, polish it and submit it.

Except that I can’t. Not yet.

There are other parts of my life that require my time and energy. My children, for example. My 12-year-old daughter and my 9-year-old twin boys, delightful human beings who demand a certain amount of care and maintenance. Then there’s the fact that we moved at the end of June. Between the house and my kids and my volunteer commitments at their school and all the daily and weekly tasks it takes to coordinate our lives, I’m a busy woman.

Most years, the end of August has also meant heading back to work. I’ve taught French, English and Resource (Special Ed), so I’ve had to juggle parenting and home responsibilities with school meetings, curriculum planning and classroom prep.

This August, it’s different. For a long time, I was the main family breadwinner while my husband completed his PhD and qualified to work as a psychologist here in Quebec. Now we’re in a position for him to pay the bills while I stay home and write.

I am incredibly excited and grateful to have the opportunity to dedicate myself to my writing. My dream job is to be a professional, published writer. This year, I finally get to pour myself into my writing and make real strides towards that dream, rather than squeezing in my writing sessions before school at 5:30am, between classes or on weekends while my husband takes the kids out to the park.

But! I’m not there yet. We’re in back-to-school crazy time, so I’ve got a massive to-do list of items to buy and label and organize before my kids start classes. We’ve also still got lots to accomplish around the house, including unpacking those last dozen boxes.

So what’s a writer to do? Can I shut the door on my new office, plug in my headphones and get to work? Can I unleash my creative energy and dive into my writing?

Ha, ha. Not yet.

Submission; that’s my only option. Take a deep breath, find my zen and submit to the reality of my current situation. Try to enjoy these last days of summer, despite the massive to-do list. Soon enough, we’ll be into the school year routine and I’ll be able to get down to work.

But not quite yet.

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