I began my motherhood journey at more than one point in my life. Does that sound strange? I understand – I say it about myself, and it sounds strange even to me. But it’s true.
Most would say that my motherhood journey began with the birth of my daughter in 2012. That’s the most logical, culturally acceptable date. And in many ways, some of them the most important ways, it’s true – she was born in April of that year, and I held in my arms my own sweet, beautiful child, and my mother-heart exploded into full-fledged, thriving life. But there are other kinds of motherhood than those incredible first moments with your first in-arms baby. I lost my first two babies to miscarriage, three years before conceiving my daughter. And then I lost another two, before conceiving my son, due this fall. And there were the two babies my husband and I found ourselves caring for, with mothers who were either neglectful or outright abusive; those babies broke our hearts, but also stole and kept them, even though we haven’t seen them in years, and never will again. And that’s what I mean by my journey started earlier. I became a mother before I ever had a baby to hold close and breathe deep.
I don’t remember when or where I picked up my copy of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide For Mothers by Kate Hopper. I think Serenity might have been around a year old, in that gap between sleep deprivation easing and her learning how to walk, when I thought hilariously that I would have plenty of time and focus to start writing again. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for about four years, now.
This book is full of writing exercises, advice, stories, and inspiration for mothers who want to write – or for writers who also mother (your choice of perspective). I have been a writer longer than I have been a mother, and both are soul-deep for me. But, as much as I love my life as a mother, the daily grind after five years has worn down my creativity, and I find myself craving a starting point, a guide to get back into the swing of things. I’m hoping this book will be that, for me.
Would you like to to join me? Use Your Words has fourteen chapters, and each chapter has multiple writing exercises to get your creativity flowing, and your memories and experiences down on the page. I will be working through this book one chapter per week, and posting about it every Monday, beginning now. I would love to have company! If you would like to get involved, pick up your own copy, and leave me a comment to let me know, and be sure to drop a link to your post every week if you choose to do it publicly on your own blog. Or feel free to simply follow along, and do the exercises that inspire you!
Writing – like living, like parenting, like any form of creation – is always an act of faith anyway, a struggle, a dare to somehow get onto a blank sheet of paper some approximation of experience in a single, unique voice.
~ Penny Wolfson
Tell me – why do you want to learn to use your words and write about your motherhood journey?