Ear­li­er this week, Ramona Ausubel wrote about why she’s a writer and not an actress. She will be blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing. Join us in May for Twit­ter Book Club with Ramona.

I have been a writer for my whole adult life. I have only been a moth­er for five months. Like many women, I wor­ried that hav­ing a baby would unmake my pro­fes­sion­al life. I wor­ried that I would nev­er have time to write, that my upcom­ing book tour would be a dis­as­ter and the nov­el that had tak­en me eight years to write — arguably my first baby — would not get the birth I want­ed for it.

My son was born in Novem­ber, and for sev­er­al weeks, I dis­ap­peared into the slow, rolling water of moth­er­hood. My sense of time dis­ap­peared. It made lit­tle dif­fer­ence if it was night or day — I nursed, I slept, I ate, I gazed down at this brand new crea­ture, alive for the first time in his­to­ry. I for­got all about my book, about the new nov­el I had been work­ing on while I was preg­nant, about pub­lic­i­ty and sched­ules. There was a new sto­ry in my life: the sto­ry of my son, the sto­ry of me as his moth­er. In the first nights, the baby slept beau­ti­ful­ly but my hus­band and I lay awake because it was impos­si­ble to look away from him. His tiny, per­fect hands rest­ed on his tiny, per­fect chest. This is my baby, I kept think­ing. I will love him for the dura­tion. I had been mak­ing things my whole life, but nev­er had I cre­at­ed some­thing like this.

When my son was two weeks old, I got an email from my pub­li­cist with a series of inter­view ques­tions from anoth­er writer. Could you have this to me by Tues­day?” she asked. Tues­day? I thought. What is Tues­day? The cal­en­dar and I had part­ed ways. It seemed so strange that every­one was hav­ing a reg­u­lar work-week, that they were tend­ing to the usu­al busi­ness while I was liv­ing a mir­a­cle. Still, I opened my com­put­er and dis­cov­ered when Tues­day was. I read the ques­tions and thought about them. It took me a few days to get all the answers down, but it felt good to remem­ber that oth­er baby of mine. Espe­cial­ly since I could do so with my son on my lap, swad­dled and sleep­ing. He was hap­py to let me do my job, to make room in the day for oth­er parts of me.

Three months lat­er, the book was pub­lished and reviews began to come in. Though they were most­ly pos­i­tive, it was over­whelm­ing to see the work I’d done eval­u­at­ed all over the place. Before the first read­ing I start­ed to won­der what I was doing.

How was this a good idea again? The pri­vate part of writ­ing suits me; I wasn’t sure how I felt about the pub­lic per­for­mance part. But I looked down at my sweet boy in my lap. He was suck­ing on his hands — a new trick. I’m just going to read to you, OK? You are the only audi­ence that mat­ters.” He smiled up at me. And for the next four weeks, in cities across the coun­try, he was there in the back of the book­store curled up on my husband’s chest. He cooed and gar­gled occa­sion­al­ly and slept most of the time. He did have to be tak­en out of the room once, but not because he was upset: he had the giggles.

After I had read and signed books, milled and chat­ted, the three of us would go out and find a glass of wine some­place. It was won­der­ful. We were a fam­i­ly, my hus­band, our son, me – both the mom and the writer. I had wor­ried about how I would pull every­thing off with a baby, but I hadn’t con­sid­ered how I would have man­aged it with­out him.

Ramona Ausubel grew up in San­ta Fe, New Mex­i­co. She is the author of the nov­el No One is Here Except All of Us with the col­lec­tion of short sto­ries A Guide to Being Born to fol­low. Her work has appeared in The New York­er,One Sto­ry, the Green Moun­tains Review, pax amer­i­cana, The Orange Coast Review, Slice and col­lect­ed in The Best Amer­i­can Fan­ta­sy and online in The Paris Review.

Ramona Ausubel has been pub­lished in The New York­er and One Sto­ry, and has received spe­cial men­tions in Best Amer­i­can Short Sto­ries, Best Amer­i­can Non­re­quired Read­ing, and the Push­cart Prize Anthol­o­gy. She is a recip­i­ent of the Glenn Scha­ef­fer Award in Fic­tion and a grad­u­ate of the MFA pro­gram and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia Irvine.