Staying True

How do you tell a story that isn’t yours?

You don’t.

It’s not a trick question, it’s a real and honest one.

In 2011, when I started this blog, the only requirement I had for myself was to be honest. To tell the truth, even if it was hard and ugly. At the time, and over the years, I’ve done that. Sharing stories about my life as a mother and a friend; sometimes as a wife and a daughter. I took great strides to be relatable. To make my readers feel included and invited. I didn’t want anyone to feel alone. My blog was a way for me to shout, Here I am, I’m doing this too.

And for most of these years, I’ve been here. Doing this too.

Until recently.

For about a year and a half, I’ve had to censor myself. I’ve had feelings to share, but to do so would hurt other people in my life. It would shed light on things that are ugly and, while relatable, hurtful. I thought that ignoring these feelings wouldn’t impact me creatively at all. I thought, naively, I would just write about something else.

I didn’t. I couldn’t. 

I felt that anything I wrote never sounded as authentic as me being ugly and raw with my words. I’ve written things in this last year and a half. Ugly things. Hurtful things. But they are on paper or stuck in my email somewhere. Those scraps and snippets sound authentic to my ears. Still, I have yet to publish those.

I can’t publish those. 

Well. I can. Though at this time it would be costly and hurtful. 

Instead I’ve paused. Spending more time in fictional worlds. Reading and writing. Watching Netflix, because right now fictional worlds are easier to live in.

In avoiding my authentic voice of non fiction, I have cultivated a voice of fiction. I had not visited any of those stories in months, but today, I read pieces that I had done. Surprised to see that they are coherent and thoughtful. A small world I could live in. Albeit a fake one. 

I’m fine. I promise. Honestly sometimes the emotional weight of things is just that. Weight. To be completely honest, not all the weight belongs to me. Its shared. But this space here is not shared, so I hit pause. 

I’m hoping, little by little I can share more of my authentic self. Once you stop writing it’s like anything else. It’s hard to start again. By writing this I feel it’s a start. A first step. 

To tell a story that is half way mine. 

DIYMFA writing prompt. Check it out

Becoming a Writer

Since I haven't been able to get my writing groove back, I've decided to participate in the DIY MFA Book Club. You can find more info out here. There are writing prompts that push you to think, and more importantly, write. Cheers to a new year, and cheers to new content in this space. 

I don’t remember becoming a writer. For as long as I can remember, I've always been writing a story in my head. When I was a kid, I would come up with my own movie endings and music videos. My crayon drawings always had elaborate back stories. Somehow I wanted a larger life than the one I was living. I guess that’s how you start writing fiction. 

It seems that I've always kept a journal. Writing short stories in middle school and poems in high school. In high school I worked on the school paper and enjoyed every minute. In college I was the only student in the required upper division writing class that was excited to be there. I wrote seven papers that semester, to me it was heaven.

After college I grew up. Worked in retailing because that was my degree said I was to so, and soon became a wife and then a mother.

That’s where my writing life took a turn.

Modern motherhood can be a lonely place if you’re not perfect. That was my truth ten years ago when I became a mother. The requirements were many, breast feeding, sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, no nipple confusion, no co sleeping, Ferberizing. You had to follow ridiculous rules to prove your worth. Not only was I lonely but I felt like a failure. I talked endlessly with my best friend, who thankfully didn’t co sign for the modern rules of motherhood. Still, we couldn’t be the only moms in the world struggling and adjusting to this life. There had to be more moms out there in the world co sleeping and bottle feeding. 

There were. I realized by joining Facebook. Friends I had in high school, college roommates, and friends of friends. Sharing online was thrilling and affirming. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a failure. I didn’t have to be perfect, I could just be me. As soon as I realized that, I found my words and started a blog.

My blog, this one you are reading, began as a place to tell funny/semi serious stories about motherhood. To be honest about living the stay at home mom dream. To deal with everyday disasters that were small but sometimes deflating. The more I wrote the better I felt. I was finally a writer.

I had finally found my voice. Finally I had something to say. 

So I said it. I’m still saying it, about motherhood and so much more. I’ve taken brakes. Fallen off the wagon. Suffered writers block. But like any good and great love, I always come back for more. 

How did I become I writer? 

I started writing.