Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Cycles


 A guest post to motivate, encourage and inspire...


I have always wanted to be a mother. That one was no surprise. As a child I planned and re-planned their names. As I grew older I imagined pushing their strollers and reading them books. I graduated from college, got married, and brought my first baby home eighteen months later.

I have always wanted to be a writer. That one was my secret. My childhood was a stack of notebooks filled with drawings and stories, some finished and some not. I graduated from college with a fat portfolio of workshopped poetry and told myself I wouldn’t stop.

Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

Then for thirteen years, I told myself I had no time. And mostly, it felt true. I had the baby, then three more. Of course the vague possibility of time existed, but I was too tired, spread too thin to carve it out. My brain tried to keep writing and those words sometimes leapt to paper, but I was mostly a writer who wasn’t writing.

Now those babies have grown long legs and cowlicks and opinions and they leave on school buses most mornings and stay gone for hours. And I am mostly a mother who isn’t mothering. In a silent house of no lunches to make and no disagreements to mediate, I feel something new. A pull, the realization that the time is here now, extending before me like a roll of bright white easel paper.

So I step tentatively to my computer, to my notebook, and I sit. Perhaps it’s like riding a bicycle, I think. I let the buried words in my brain fight their way back to the front, past the grocery lists and the dentist’s appointments. I sit in the glorious newness of no interruptions, and I write and write and write.

And now both halves of myself are awake, together. I am always a mother, even when I am writing. Have I always been a writer, even while I was mothering? Am I maybe now, finally, both at once?

But even as I ask, the words and the answers come. In my writing I see myself, my family, my world growing larger, fiction, truth, and all the in-betweens. My years of mothering have colored how I see everything, and old thoughts and words are new again. I can write and I do write, and I say it out loud to myself, to my husband, my children, to you.


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 so readers can learn more about you and your projects. 

Brandy Wilkinson is a stay-at-home mother and writer who lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She received a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Southern Indiana. She can be found on twitter @brandy_wilk.

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So proud of you, Brandy. You are truly gifted at putting words together on the page. You are setting a wonderful example for your children.
Good luck on your next adventure! I hope to read a book of yours in the future!
Beautifully said Brandi. I look forward to more posts/articles/books from you.
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