Mother vs. Writer
It’s hard to be a mother and a writer. When I first dared to call myself “writer”, I felt every minute I spent working on my novel, or learning a new literary skill was a minute stolen from my kids. As an unpublished writer, in particular, I felt selfish for spending precious time on my “hobby”. Forget that I have hopes to hone my craft and one day count myself among the published, most days I felt like a self-indulgent house-wife, dabbling in the, far greater than-little-old-me, literary world.
Despite knowing intellectually that a happy mother means a happy family, I feared my kids would suffer and come to resent the time I spent away from them, writing. Then, something amazing happened.
Art Inspires Life
My girls, aged seven and nine at the time, began to write their own stories. We began talking about plot, character motivation and literary devices. I tried to pass on what I learned to them and they churned out so many ideas, I found myself getting jealous (I resisted the urge to “borrow” those ideas, mostly). My girls proudly distributed the business cards I made up for myself, an attempt to legitimize my aspiration- to this day, some of the only cards that have left the house, I’m sad to say. The three of us formed our own little writing group, right in the comfort of our own home.
Several years on, both girls still create with abandon. They speak freely of their art and see a future for themselves in writing. They take pride in the projects and stories they produce for school, and on their own. My youngest, now ten, has even declared that she wants to become an editor when she grows up and now assiduously corrects the grammar of all she meets (sorry, we’re hoping it will mellow with age).
Passion is Contagious
Pursuing my passion, purely for myself, and taking it seriously enough to make time despite my busy schedule has shown my daughters what is possible for them. My daughters see themselves as writers because I’ve blazed a trail for them. Who knows what may happen in the future, that’s their path to choose, but I am beyond proud to have inspired them in this way. If I never publish (insert loud sob here!), I will have achieved something great. I’ve inspired others to create. What more can an artist ask for? (Okay a lot more, but this still feels good).
Look Out Publishing World!
My youngest, Jocelyn, recently wrote a piece she’s especially proud of. She asked me to share it with my writing group last week (another thing I’m proud to have achieved,letting my girls know that good writing takes revision and help from others) and also wants to publish it. This blog is as close as I can get to helping her achieve her goal, so without further ado, here is the debut of young author, Jocelyn Mah.
If you want to read it in a more traditional format, find it here Jocelyn’s Bright Future.