I have a secret (ok, not so secret anymore) dream that someone someday will read my blog and hire me to write for them, or pay to advertise here, or even maybe Lisa Belkin will read and repost one of my posts on Motherlode. If I made the NYTimes my life would be complete. I don’t need to be Julie – my blog made into a movie where I am played by some amazingly beautiful actress. I wouldn’t object, of course, but that isn’t really my goal. I stated all of this just for fun. I continue to do this just for fun. But I also now do it because I am a writer – and I always have been. Having the goal to set text here every night, to hope that some of it may actually be good even, fulfills me. Growing up, I typed (on my Apple 2E) long stories about children and teddy bears; I composed a family newsletter for a few years when I was in elementary school; I won money for my college essay and got to read it on the radio. I wrote creatively and analytically through undergrad and then “gave up” my first teacher summers to continue writing at Bread Loaf. I write and I always have.
I tell my students that good writing is good thinking. I have quotes posted around my classroom espousing variations on the theme that one doesn’t know what exactly he thinks until he writes it down. That is true for me. I blog to think and truly appreciate the time I do have with Nora after working all day, to process the challenges, to participate in a larger conversation about parenting and motherhood. I believe, in a way, that writing and reflecting like this makes me a better mother.
It has occurred to me lately, however, that my chances of creating a huge following here, or publishing in Mom magazines isn’t really likely. I bought parenting magazines this weekend to research which ones I may send submissions to. But I don’t write about “hot moms” and have no desire to. Who cares? I am not overly dedicated to coupon shopping. I am not paranoid about clutter (but choking, yes. You should have seen me when Nora happily bit into a raw carrot tonight. You would have thought it was poison.) I don’t have any special talents aside from what I write. I don’t delve into photography as many big-time mom bloggers do. I am certainly no cook.
Many of the successful mom blogs are also about stresses, about those things that moms think but don’t want to admit out loud, about the trials of parenting. And every once in a while they throw in a sappy moment for good measure. There’s no “edge” here in my blog. There’s no overly snarky attitude. There’s no drama. I could lie and create some, I guess. But that’s not who I am as a mom. I’m sure my next phase of struggle will occur. I know there are many moments when I feel frustrated and sad and guilty and lost, but those aren’t always the things I think about when I perch on the couch to write each night. I think of surviving another work day. About how smoothly our routine goes most days. About what a smart and happy and funny girl Nora is. About how helpful it is to have a husband at home who helps with all of the house chores I am so terrible at. About how nice it is to have a family support here and afar – parents and brothers and sisters and friends.
When our nights and days include moments like these**, how can I just sit and rant and complain.
Sure, she tried to run away when we took a walk to feed the chickens down the street. Yes she runs away and hides when it is time to nebulize. Of course she tests us all the time – she’s two.
But no one pays for sugar and spice.
I have a job. I don’t really want to be “discovered” for the money (though that certainly would be nice), I really want to be “discovered” to validate my writing. To feel, for a moment, that writing to who knows what audience on the Internet is real. That I really am a writer.
**In the video Nora is reciting the last two pages of her favorite goodnight book (The Going to Bed Book). She says “The moon is high, the sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep. She actually recited the entire book correctly, but of course I wasn’t filming. I was just staring with a huge admiring smile on my face.