Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Literary Reflections

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For each issue of Literary Mama, Literary Reflections shares a writing prompt, inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on the responses we receive and we post our favorites on the blog. This month's writing prompt is inspired by Kathryn Streeter's essay, "My-Daughter-Who-Doesn't-Like-to-Read," and Barbara Buckner Suarez's essay, "You Say You Want a Revolution?"


2015_October_blog_AmandaMorris (2)In "My-Daughter-Who-Doesn't-Like-to-Read," Kathryn Streeter discovers that when she let go of expectations for who her daughter will be, she was able to see that her daughter had surpassed all that Streeter had imagined. "That moment in time changed me," Streeter writes, "bringing into sharp focus the need to let my daughter be herself, contradictions and all."

Rather than focusing on expectations related to her children in her essay, "You Say You Want a Revolution?," Barbara Buckner Suarez turns to a decades-old dream of her own—to write a book, and not just any book, but a revolutionary one. Suarez begins a practice of writing which initially causes guilt, because time writing meant time spent not meeting her children's needs. But, Suarez writes, "About midway through my six-month writing mentorship program, I finally understood something that seems so obvious to me now. I am a much better mom when I show my kids that I am more than just their mom."

Sometimes in life—and in writing and motherhood—insight hits us in lightning-bolts of revelation or dope-slaps of obviousness. Write about a time when a moment of epiphany enlightened an aspect of motherhood you were struggling with. How did that insight change your experience as a parent, and did it stick, or do you have to continually remind yourself of what you learned in that moment?


Read Streeter's and Suarez's essays and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by February 1 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note "January Prompt" in your subject line. We'll publish our favorites on the blog.

Andrea Lani writes about the nexus of motherhood and the natural world. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Maine Review, SaltFront, and Brain, Child Magazine, among other publications. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program, a senior editor for Literary Mama, and a Maine Master Naturalist. She lives in central Maine with her husband and three sons.

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