2016 has been a busy year already. I wrote on New Year’s Day that I had only one resolution for the new year: to write. Writing gave me so much in 2015 that I felt it was the least I could do to give back to it as best I could. All I can give is my honest and best efforts, and the rest is out of my control. But I’ve felt words bubbling up as my calling in a way they weren’t before.
I write in scribbles here and there. Half the time (like right now), I’m typing with heavy fingers and sleepy eyes after a day of work and motherhood, and I just write for my own self. I usually find at least three typos or mistakes the next day, and sometimes it comes out decently while other entries are disjointed, but it’s the place I come to in order to feel my way through the maze of my daily challenges and the countless ways my life has changed.
So to any of you reading here — thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s a sacred space in many ways as it functions as my own sounding board, clarifying my own thoughts when I see them on the screen in front of me. But knowing that a few are reading really does hold me accountable in the sense that, even on the busiest weeks, I don’t completely neglect this space.
As the year began, I knew that I had a voice of my own with something worth hearing. I knew that because of the gradual and gentle encouragement of readers here and a handful of editors who had seen my work. As soon as I said aloud (or typed aloud) that writing was my intention, it came tumbling faster than I knew it could.
I know the whole “Law of Attraction” idea is a little ridiculous to some, and wishing for something is not enough to bring it to fruition. I’ve done more than wished. I’ve worked hard. But I’ve put myself in the way of abundance, so to speak, in that I latched on to that “feeling” place of what I wanted. I knew I had something to say and wanted desperately to reach people as I paint my own reflections of my own experiences. I was already there with my “frequency,” so to speak. (Have I lost you yet, hippie haters?) Basically, I claimed writing as my own because it is my passion – not because someone told me I was good enough.
And of course I worked. I’ve written and re-drafted and revised again and again. My Sunday morning ritual when the kids are away is to wake early, bring my coffee back to bed, and stay under my covers working on my current ideas until they are where I want them to be when I send them out in the wide world. I’ve been updating my About Me page here and there, but I hadn’t really collected all the new things here to share with you, so I wanted to pass them along if you want to take a look.
- 12 Signs You Might Be a Badass Single Mom (DivorcedMoms.com partnership)
- Reposts of two previous essays on Scary Mommy / Club Mid
- Soul Food (Mamalode’s new food site, Mama Nom Nom)
- The Most Exhausting (and Magical) Part of Being a Single Mom (Huffington Post partnership)
- Forthcoming piece on Mothers Always Write
- Forthcoming piece on Coffee + Crumbs
All this in the first 56 days of the new year since I set my intention to write. The universe is an amazing thing, right? Hard work + heartfelt intention + a focus on abundance — and the road will rise to meet you.
What’s especially interesting to me is that most of my themes and observations are not original or unique. They are as old as the human experience itself. But they are real, and I think readers see that. I don’t hide behind anything, and I bare some naked soul and risk the mud on my face, so to speak, in order to speak my own truth and make sense of this one life I’ve been given.
I’ve made my way through Big Magic in pieces as I’m reading other things on the side as well. Gilbert comments on this originality vs. authenticity tension when she insists, “The older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I am far more moved by authenticity. … Just say what you want to say, then say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me — it will feel original” (98). I’d add to that… if it’s authentic, believe me — someone will listen. Not that you will land a killer book deal. Not that you will have droves of fans. Not that writing will pay the bills. But just that people will listen. Readers know when you are being real with them and when you aren’t. There is no hiding in this craft if you do it well.
And that’s the whole point, right? Not just the point of writing, but the point of being human. To listen and to speak honestly and to be heard and felt and offer a life raft to someone else when they need a few words to help them float on a little longer.
So if you’re reading this far, this is me saying thank you and reminding you that when you put yourself in the way of abundance, when you see the possibilities around you as real and available and belonging to you, when you hear the familiar clarity in your own voice, pay attention. That is the work you are here to do, and it belongs to you. The rest of us are waiting for it.