I am a mother and a writer.
This is one of my new mantras. A poignant reminder that I can be, and indeed already am both. Now I know that’s not revolutionary. After all, we wear different hats all the time. So in addition to being a mother and a writer, I already am a lot of other things too: I am a wife, a lover, a sister, a friend, etc.
I suppose the difference with writing is that it is something new I am allowing myself to explore and thus I figured it would be nice to have some kind of anchor. In case I forget in amongst Lilly cuddles, new mummy coffee mornings, dog walking and nappy changes.
In the movie version of Sex and The City, there are two scenes where Carrie Bradshaw is in bed wearing pyjamas and pearls. I love that. It’s impractical, of course. It even looks a little odd – like playing dress up at bedtime. But it’s also fun and whacky and different (unless everyone is wearing beads in bed these days and I’ve totally missed the trend in amongst those nappy changes). Most importantly, Carrie Bradshaw is a writer. So I went to the local charity shop and got me some beads.
I haven’t worn them yet but they are hanging over the reading lamp next to my sofa. Alongside Lilly’s nursing necklace. So I can see them during the day, and when I actually sit down in the evenings to write. And I am sure one day soon I will wear them when I’m all snuggled up in my pyjamas. So much more chic than wearing a hat, no?!
And in case you’re wondering about the nursing necklace, it’s a contraption that is supposed to keep your child interested in feeding once they get to an age when just about everything else in the room is more interesting than milk. It’s designed to withstand overexcited and incessant tugs and is probably strong enough to pull an 18-wheeler truck. It also has bells that, appropriately enough for the season, make me sound like Santa’s sleigh.
Ho Ho Ho.
Ok, I have to admit that despite reaching out for great advice on being a writer, I have really been struggling with where to get started and what to write about.
My usually gutsy self is quite unnerved at the thought of publishing myself for all to read. So I have been falling into the trap of using excuses for not writing. Mostly centered around the fact that I have a 5 month old baby and thus in my limited spare time am either too tired or too busy doing ‘stuff’ (that’s a technical term for hanging up the laundry, surfing online or whatever other non-essential things we do to fill our time and keep us from connecting to what we really might be here for).
I chatted to my mentor the other day and her advise was to ‘do despite’. To sit down and write despite all the perfectly good reasons that I come up with for not doing so. To make time when it feels like I have none… or would rather be sleeping on the couch.
I got that… but I was still stalling like hell. Because underneath of course is something else. Namely that I am actually scared. What of? Who knows… being successful, putting myself out there, being judged? I guess on some level, I feel more vulnerable now that I am a mum. I never thought I would and I can’t really explain it but I do.
So I talked to my very clever husband tonight and his advise was this: Do The Opposite.
Just do the opposite of whatever your head (or ego) is telling you to do. That made sense. Write despite telling yourself that you don’t have anything to write about. Pick up the laptop (and your courage) when hiding under the duvet sounds like the more appealing option.
Do The Opposite.
Now, I wonder if 5 months is too early to comprehend that sleep is the opposite of chanting in your bed at the top of your voice?
I have been fretting over what to write about in my first post ever since I decided to publish myself in the online world.
Whilst busy fretting, I wrote to a friend of mine asking him about his experience of being a writer. Not only did he reply straight away, he also wrote a post on his blog with the advice I was seeking. Ever wondered how you start on your journey of being a writer?
Have a look at his words of wisdom here: http://grahamphoenix.net/golden-light/
Seeing Graham’s post not only gave me a huge buzz, it also felt like in some way he had written my first blog post for me. After all, in the beginning, we all wonder how to get started, don’t we?
And the first piece of advise I am choosing to follow is this – hit publish without thinking about it!