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After Page One: Motivation



A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire

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My story to tell

 

A dozen journals rest on the top shelf of my closet. Their entries date back to my teenage years and are appropriately filled with angst, questions, and deep, though simultaneously shallow, introspection. Occasionally, I read those pages and reflect on a life that now feels like a lifetime ago.

And, of course, it was.

In the years leading up to my daughter’s birth, I tucked those journals away. Feeling like I had finally settled into myself, I didn't need to ramble on about my feelings. I rarely encountered an experience that needed to be worked out through words on a page.

I stopped writing altogether.

Then she came. The weight of her seven-pound body rocked my world. Suddenly, I was a teenager again, filled with angst and questions and deep, though simultaneously shallow, introspection. But this time, the angst was more real and more tangible. And it cried and screamed and giggled and coo'd.

And so, I started writing again.

But this time, writing was different. This wasn't a moment for "Dear Diary, today was so rough. Motherhood is hard." It wasn’t enough to just put the words on the page because those words never told the whole story. They didn’t convey the overwhelming crush of responsibility that is holding another’s life in your hands. They didn’t convey that I felt lost and alone and overwhelmed. They didn’t convey that every one of those early tantrums brought me swiftly and easily to my breaking point – or that from those breaking points, I grew stronger and more resilient. They didn’t convey that motherhood is hard because motherhood is growth--public, tangible, incredibly important growth--and growing is hard.

I wanted to share my story. I wanted to say to every other mother: "Yes, I know what you're going through – the nights of lost sleep, the tantrums, the goodbyes at daycare, the growing. It’s painful and it’s beautiful and it’s motherhood."

So, now, I write.

Still, writing is harder now. With babies who need and want, time is short. So I compose stories in my head while I shower or as I shuttle kids back and forth. Then I race to extract the words before the baby wakes or while waiting to order my coffee. I don't always extract them all. The dark corners of my mind are filled with perfect words and phrases that will never see the light of day. I often dream about how much time I had during those angst-filled, teenage days. Oh the hours I could have spent getting the words just right.

But then, of course, I didn't have these heart-tugs and soul pulls and cry-till-you-laugh moments. I didn’t have this particular angst that needs to be written.

In motherhood, I have found my story to tell. My children are the reason I write, even when my words are not about them. They are the constant push that keeps me running to capture this painfully beautiful and ever changing experience. Motherhood is my story.

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Join our After Page One series.  We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude.   The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio at the bottom of your post so readers can learn more about you and your projects.

 



{Melinda} Tricia, motherhood is when I found my writing groove, too. I also have dozens of journals ... mostly from AFTER motherhood. Some entries are insights and struggles I wrote about. A lot of them are written-out prayers detailing my fears and struggles and frustrations and victories. I have looked back on them many times and those stories and insights have been the basis for many blog posts and articles. You are a beautiful writer, Tricia, telling a beautiful story.
I love love LOVE this post so much. I too have been keeping journals since I'm a teen - angst ridden journals that helped me get my feelings on paper. Now, I still keep journals, but it's a different kind of journal keeping. Yes, at times the angst is still there - but there is also a "working through the angst" process that has to take place these days, if not me, then for my kids, because they deserve a mama who can use the tough days as a lesson for what's next. We never stop learning, especially when we have kids.
Oh so timely to me on the eve of my daughter's fourth birthday. I remember that night so well even though I had no idea what was in store for me at 3:00 am. I stopped writing for YEARS after cramming in a journalism major my senior year and getting burnt out on writing six papers a week. Then I had my daughter and I started to write again. For her, for me. And motherhood did become my story, and that spurned many others stories that were either there all along or birthed by my motherhood stories. Love this.
Love this post. So beautiful -I can totally relate. My kids are older, but as they get older, the more I feel a push to write.
Yes, this is me too. My mind is always writing. I see myself typing the words even as I think them. But I feel I rarely have time to develop my everything fully because it's all pieced together in spurts. A little here, there. With four little children it's a difficult thing to find uninterrupted time. Frustrating. Very frustrating because I feel equally compelled to mother as I do to write. They are one in the same desire.
I can relate to the way you write now versus then. Oh, the time I had to get the words just so. Now I frame my words in pieces, in stages, and hope that they all come together in the end. And my stories come from motherhood, too - even if they are not about my children. Love this, Tricia! :)
Tricia - I love this post too. I kept so many journals when I was younger. I wrote incessantly (and was so angsty!). Writing helped me sort through my emotions and my thoughts. Like you, I stopped writing for a long time and motherhood has brought me back to it. I guess it's partly to have a creative outlet that's my own but also to be able to sort out those feelings and thoughts again. I love the reason why your write and share your stories.
I love how you write and mother, Tricia. There's an intelligence balanced with an uneasiness conveyed with a knack for the written word. It's smart and honest, and your children get that benefit every day by having you as mom. We get it too, by having your blog to read.
Ah what a beautiful way to put into words what so many of us have experienced. I too have JOURNALS - stacks of them from my teen years. They are tear stained pages of emotion... and I too, write like you- in hopes to inspire and encourage moms and ultimately it fulfills me.
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