(Photography by Serge Ramelli)
Maaaaannn. I don’t even celebrate holidays and I’m still distracted by them. Doom on you! Doom on you! I won’t make this an habitual thing, I promise! I can’t let down my existing followers. Or my future ones. My thousands of future followers.
Anyway… *sings* “Hello. It’s me”. Or more accurately, for this particular blog post, I should be singing “Hello from the other siiiiddeeeee.” I’m going to be digging into a bit of my personal history but it will come back to writing. ALWAYS writing. So bear with me as I practice my ummm…Biography writing? Or something?
I am going to come right out and say something shocking. Gonna rip it off like a band-aid on a hairy arm. Here it is:
I never wanted to have kids.
Like, EVER. I knew I would be a terrible mom when I was younger because I was selfish and had absolutely zero interest in wiggly squalling mongrels. My sister had 4 kids. I only visited the first one in the hospital when he was born. Yeaahhhh no. I swore up and down I was going to be a virginal sacrifice to the Hawaiian volcano gods. (LOL, don’t all innocent pre-teen girls? HA!) Well, as things go, I ended up being pregnant age 20 and then again at 21. My girls were born 10 months apart and I was waayyyyy over my head. No family to reliably help me, my husband working all the time…
Let’s just say I spent more time crying than the babies did. And I wore out a copy of the first “Transformers” DVD putting it on loop because it was the only way I could get us all to sleep. Same thing with Lilo and Stitch. It was the only thing that could calm down my fussy older daughter. Parenthood unmasked people. Fer reals.
Looking back from the ten year mark, I’m surprised and proud we all survived. I mean, I was one of those ridiculously lucky women who didn’t have any bad pregnancy experiences, not even swollen feet. My girls didn’t have any colic or irregularities except a little jaundice on the younger one. I loved being pregnant until month nine actually. (After that the hard parts begins!) But everything feels like a monumental task when you’re a new parent alone with your kids all day. Your arms ache from rocking babies to sleep or holding them while you make food so they don’t scream. You begin to fear silence since that usually means the kids are doing something terribly interesting–and bad. You have to dodge every Sally, Jane, and Maria with “good advice” for raising your babies. Ugh, that was the worst to be honest. Like, PLEASE b%^&h I’m already over-tired and over-whelmed. Don’t assume you know ANYTHING. (It was even better coming from women who didn’t even HAVE kids. HA!!)
The parental ineptitude gets even worse when they go to school because then the control is out of your hands. The paranoia never ceases. Every phone call between the hours of 8 and 3 is regarded with fear. Sometimes you have to try to explain to an inconsolable 5 year old on the teacher’s classroom phone why their friends pushed them on the playground and stole their toys. Over and Over. And those are just regular problems. Try having a kid with high-functioning autism in special day classes and one that’s a G.A.T.E candidate.
The point of this is NOT to degrade parenthood. I mean, it’s hard but it’s sooooo fun too. So many blessings and rewards. The point of this mini rant is to emphasize the journey. You start out as a scared, inept parent and then ten years later, looking at healthy growing little humans, you feel nothing but pride. You know things now that you didn’t before. You learned and wizened up. You are now a seasoned parent, ready to take on the pre-teen, tween, and teenage Hell facing you. You can do ANYTHING!
It’s the same with writing.
HA! Of course this was about writing! 😀 We all start off as scared parents cranking out ugly baby stories. Just wait. In ten years (or even two years), you’ll look back and see all the progress you made. Be proud. A lot of writers never even make it past their first drafts. Just like with parenting, there are rewards and lessons in writing as well.
So don’t be discouraged! If you can’t hack it by yourself and find you’re falling off the wagon, it’s okay to ask for help. Everyone does it, even the Pros. (FYI: there’s a reason there are dedication and acknowledgement pages in books.) Find a mentor to keep you on the writing path. Find a group online or in person to write with and bounce ideas off of. Go on twitter or skype and have a chat with other writers. Don’t give up! Find your way through trial and error. It really is the only thing you can do. This is your dream. All you have to do is make it real.
My next step in my own writing journey is to find a writing group in my home town. I’ve never been very disciplined so having a small niche of friends I can lean on might just be the ticket to getting my first crafts cranked out.
Do well my friends and don’t give up! Find your own way 🙂