Isn't that the awesomest title evah? I'm a Staff Writer at Our Mommyhood. My first post is up today. Please go check it out.
I used to keep a journal. I started it in seventh grade, and as of a few months before the wee one was born, I had something like 108 volumes to this journal. Some of the "volumes" were a 100-count spiral notebook. Some, especially in later years, were 3-inch looseleaf notebooks. That format works best for me, because I tend to want to journal when the emotions strike, and I don't like carrying a bound journal with me everywhere. If I don't have alot of time to write and I just want to get alot of thoughts/emotions out quick, I will word process. If I really need to get to the bottom of what I'm feeling, then I'll write on paper by hand.
In the olden days, when it was just me and the dog, I could sit on the couch and write for HOURS. I could analyze all the subtle nuances of the drunk womanizer's behavior (he hasn't called for three days. Maybe he's playing hard to get. Maybe he wants ME to call first. I won't call first, if he wants to talk to me, he'll have to call me. Well, maybe this once. No answer. Great, he's probably with HER and they're laughing at how I called and he didn't answer...)
In the hospital, while waiting for the wee one, I wrote quite a bit. I made sure that a notebook and pens were in the hospital bag, and I was glad to have something to do while I was bed-bound.
Then she came. And the luxury of having hours upon hours to explore thoughts and feelings on paper ... disappeared.
I didn't journal much the first few weeks, and I kindof regret that. Then I'd write when I could, which is mostly after she's asleep and when I'm too exhausted to care how I'm feeling.
That's one reason I started the blog, as a way to write, to chronicle our daily lives, but with more of a purpose. To share our ups and downs, our joys and sorrows. Well, not really sorrows. Just sicknesses, I guess. It's different than a journal. For one thing, my mother reads it. For another, the rest of the world reads it. Not really, but you have to assume that when you write it. For another, SHE will read it one day.
I have fallen in love with blog writing. It's our life in little bits, little daily packages, centered around some topic or another. Somehow it always has some beginning and some end. Some are written in my head in the shower, or on the drive to work. Some become shaped because I just sit down to vent or rant about something that has happened. I love these little scenes of my experience of being a mommy. I love to write them, to know that I'll have them, to share them with others.
So imagine how thrilled I was to get a message from one of my blog readers, who has become an editor at Our Mommyhood. "I was wondering if you'd like to come on board to write from the angle of being a Single Mom. You could write on any topic you wanted, daycare, cloth diapers, anything, just approach it from how you may feel it's the same or different from other families to give a voice to the single mom community."
Thrilled. Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled. "To the max", as we said once in the 80's.
I got a twinge of writer's block in the beginning. How should I start to present myself to a new community of readers? What a huge responsibility to represent the single mom community, and give a voice to our experiences. My first post should be an introduction, right? And summarize the entire single mom experience in 500 words or less ...
So I got a little stressed, went a little blank. I had some ideas, but they didn't really sound right rolling around in my head. I asked for some input, but still felt like I was groping.
Then I realized ... I don't have to represent the whole single mom community to this new group of readers. I just have to represent MY experience of being a single mama - my little slice of mommie heaven, as it were. That will bring some perspective of being a single mom, but it won't be every perspective - and it's not supposed to! Once I got that through my thick skull, I was much better. I wrote a couple of posts and emailed them to my new editor. She liked them! Oh my gosh ...
I'm a writer.
Then she sends out an email that my deadline for next month is earlier. I had a minor panic attack again. But somewhere in the middle of living daily life, some ideas bubbled up, and I've already met my earlier deadline. (Now I'm TOTALLY out of ideas after that!) (I'll think of something, don't worry.)
I have really enjoyed thinking about writing for a new audience of women. It has stretched my ideas quite a bit to think about something beyond "we went to the ER this weekend" and "this is what our latest cloth diaper looks like". What has struck me the most is that, while some of my experiences are different as a single mama, many of the things that I think of when I think about my time as a mama so far aren't necessarily unique to the single mama crowd. They are just the common experiences of mommyhood, and that is what the site is all about.
Please stop by and read my post today. I would so love for you to comment (I'm trying not to be comment-competitive but I'd like to have a decent number.) If you want to come back here and tell me what you REALLY think of my post, I'd love to have some constructive feedback as well.
I love being a writer. Almost as much as I love being a mom.