On motherhood and writing

So….it’s been a while. Much has happened. In short, motherhood is decimating, on so many levels, especially with a spirited toddler.  Please don’t tell me, “Wait til she becomes a teenager!” I will strangle you with my mind.

My pre-motherhood writing practice: Daily, disciplined, at my desk, mug of tea, nature sounds playing in the background.

Current writing practice: WHAT PRACTICE!? WHAT DESK?

Haha. I kid you. I do have a desk. I’m just not there as much as I’d like to be. Right now, I take what I get. Much like a starving person and scraps of food. Motherhood has shown me how much of an introvert I really am, and how much writing helps me surface for much-needed air.

I loved these articles:

  1. Freelancing with a Family: How to Balance Your Work and Your Kids
  2. Yes, It Is Possible to Write a Novel With Small Children Hanging On You
  3. Making Time to Write When You Have Young Children: Mission Impossible?

This post really resonates with me: After Page One: Claiming Space. So beautiful and so real. There is no perfect writing room for me, either – but I make do what with I have.

My daughter spurs my creativity, as much as I need to work around her. I write this as my toddler woke up from sleep. My husband brought her down to have breakfast. She’s in a good mood this morning, so that buys me approximately 10-20 minutes, before she starts calling for me once my husband leaves for work. Go, Raidah, go!

If you’re a writing parent, especially a writing mum, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you find time and energy to write? What helps? What doesn’t help? How do you balance forgiving yourself for not writing as much as you’d like, alongside celebrating your small victories?

Some blog ideas I’m playing with, as I resurrect my blog from the abyss of mothering a toddler:

  • Book review on N.K. Jemisin’s incredible Broken Earth trilogy.
  • Book review on Zen Cho’s Sorcerer To the Crown.
  • Reflections on reading my poetry at my sister’s chapbook launch.
  • I finally submitted my poetry manuscript to the wonderful Ethos Books!

I’m open to suggestions. Leave a comment and share your thoughts 🙂

Digging Deep, Facing Self LIVE in KL, Malaysia! This Sunday 22nd Nov, 10 am – 1 pm @ Cufica

PrintI have wonderful news! Join my poetic coach and mentor, the talented Caits Meissner, this Sunday morning for a Digging Deep, Facing Self (DDFS) crash course ❤ Caits is flying down all the way from New York, bringing her suitcase of healing poetic balms to Malaysia for the very first time.

My sister Aisyah and I have the honour and pleasure of being amongst the DDFS alumni. Under Caits’ expert tutelage, both of us have had our poems selected for publication at the Islamic Museum of Australia! I hope that her deft touch, courageous prompts and compassion will inspire you into your own space of healing and wonder.

This Sunday night, join Caits Meissner, myself and a range of local artists for poetry performances around the theme “Deeper Consciousness”.

My deepest thanks and gratitude goes to the organisers for making this tour possible – Third Space, Poetry Cafe KL, Blubricks, Cufica, and the American Embassy – especially Jamal Raslan. Thank you for making it possible for me to meet Caits in real life!

If you love poetry, writing, healing and everything in between, please come and bring your loved ones. May this be means of adding beauty to our lives!

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My poem, Immigration, selected for publication at the IMA! @caitsmeissner #islamicmuseumaustralia

1209718_writingI’m thrilled to announce that my poem, Immigration, will be exhibited at the Islamic Museum of Australia from Oct 10th to Jan 10th 🙂 I’m even more excited that my youngest sister’s poem will also be exhibited 🙂 Go Aisyah!

My deepest thanks and gratitude goes to the talented Caits Meissner, who so lovingly nurtured my sister and me, along with our poems. Caits, you are my poetic personal trainer.

The IMA’s opening night function will be on Friday 10th October, at 7 pm. If you’re able to, please do head down and celebrate the beauty produced by various Australian Muslim artists. In a world splintering at the edges, it helps to be reminded of the constancy and presence of the Divine, threaded through our lives and artwork. There is still so much beauty in this world, living alongside the pain.

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Ramadan – my poem on The Elephant Journal

IMG-20140628-WA0010I’m thrilled to share that Elephant Journal has published my poem, Ramadan. I wrote it as a way to pay tribute to the blessed month, and to honour the heartache in Gaza and Malaysia.

We’re living in a world that is splintering at the edges. May our next Ramadan bring better tidings.

Calligraphy source: Subhi Bora. Find her at @saafara_ on Instagram

‘Your Village’, a poem by Elana Bell #palestine

In the light of recent events, I’d like to share a beautiful and heart-wrenching poem by Elana Bell. Please click here to listen to and read her poem, Your Village.

In these last ten days of Ramadan, I pray that Allah eases the suffering of the oppressed in Palestine, Burma, and elsewhere around the world. My heart also goes out to the families of the passengers on MH370 and MH17.

It’s been a heartbreaking Ramadan, and all the more reason to turn to the Healer of hearts:

And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided. [Qur’an 2:186]

 

 

Recipe For Grounding, a poem by Caits Meissner

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Please hop on over to The Elephant Journal for this beautiful, beautiful poem by my poetic mentor, Caits Meissner: Recipe For Grounding. Read it out loud, whisper it to yourself, feel the words resonate through your soul.

May this poem inspire you to stand tall, grow roots, and simply be.

(If you haven’t already, I encourage you to be a reading member of The Elephant Journal for only $13 per year. Support this gorgeous independent press and its writers!)

I took this picture at The University of Life, at Janda Baik. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stepped into.