When I was a child, I refused to show true emotion. Fear, love, anger. I bottled those up, turned inward and . . . ended up with stomach pains. Eventually, I learned that writing could help me reconcile most of what I might be feeling and experiencing.
But it wasn't until I became a mother that I understood the value of being truthful with myself and my family when it came to my emotions. Genuine connection—with the children, my husband, the family as a collective whole—hinged on my ability to speak and share the truth about my emotions. And as ugly as it might be to reveal that annoyance or rage or loathing simmered beneath the surface, I came to accept that most people also experienced those emotions too.
Emotion is what lays at the heart of good writing. Without emotion, the essay falls flat. Without emotion, the reader puts the book down. Without emotion, that important connection between writer and reader is never realized.
Here at Literary Mama, our contributors put so much of themselves into their writing; they hand us emotions in spades and create those connections. Each month, I find myself gritting my teeth, cheering from my seat, smiling from ear to ear, or wiping tears from my eyes.
I hope you find the time this month to peruse our site and create a connection of your own.
Welcome to the April issue.
P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog and newsletter and by following us on social media! Also, explore our archives to discover more mothers' voices!
The End of a Circle: The Great Escape by Jennifer Golden
When Telling Isn't Enough by L.A. Reisig
Loss by Megan Kathleen Hart
On Repetition and Revision in Motherhood and #MeToo by Sara Burnett
Remixing Memories: Back Down Memory Lane by Deesha Philyaw
Essential Reading: Children's Books compiled by Nerys Copelovitz
A Review of Fruit of the Earth by Sarah Plummer
Images by Edwin Andrade, Aaron Burden, Joshua Clay, Randy Fath, and Aaron Meade