I’d always had the ambition to write fiction, but something had always held me back—I think mainly I was afraid of failure. Only after watching a documentary on J.K. Rowling, and being reminded of her struggles as a single mom on social assistance, did I see that I had nothing to lose by trying—and that if I didn’t try I would absolutely fail.
A former rural librarian shares how her fascination with words birthed her career as an editor and poet and how the process of writing has functioned as a lodestar throughout her life.
Having grown up in a white family, Deborah Jiang-Stein searches to make sense of the differences in her multiracial appearance and in her inner workings, and experiences a deep anguish that includes an “emotional lockdown” and silence. She craves adrenaline, rejects her parents and any positive expectations placed upon her. Jiang-Stein writes about her struggle as a prison-born girl.
Lisa Lynne Lewis
I started off as a secret writer: I thought of myself as a writer and yet I was too scared to write. It was a funny disconnect. For me it’s been about chronically seeking permission from myself to spend time on something that I love. I first started working―in a leotard shop―when I was 14. It was hard to come from that and say, “I want to be an artist.” It didn’t feel practical. I felt I needed to defend the choice and tell myself it’s worth investing time and taking risks.
I kept writing about my mother: her memory loss, physical incapacities, and the reversing roles when an aging parent begins to depend on a daughter. The consistent theme that emerged was the challenge of being “sandwiched” between caring for an aging mother and raising a young child. As I talked about these issues with friends, I realized how many of us were in the same difficult situation.
Lisa Lynne Lewis
As deputy editor, Rita Arens is a regular featured speaker at BlogHer’s annual conferences, the world’s largest conferences for women in social media. She recently spoke with Lisa Lynne Lewis about mommy blogging, writing about her experience with anorexia, and how blogging is similar to performance art.
We publish profiles of writers who are mothers, writers who write about motherhood, and writers who have something to say to mothers. This includes well-known, living mama writers, of course, but also off-beat, lesser-known, not-so-obvious mama writers. Read more here.