October 2013 marks Literary Mama’s ten year anniversary! On Wednesdays for the next few months we’ll celebrate this milestone with editors and columnists, both past and present. They’ll share what being a part of Literary Mama has meant to them, what they hope for the future of the magazine, and how Literary Mama has shaped their writing, their mothering, and their lives.
Heidi Scrimgeour- Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant
When I tentatively submitted a short response to a Literary Mama writing prompt 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would be the seed from which my dream of writing for a living would take root and grow.
The fruits of my labours have bought me a shiny new laptop since then, entirely dedicated to writing – the kids know they must not so much as glance longingly in its direction – so I’ve long since lost track of the piece that inspired my prompt, and I no longer have access to the flurry of emails which went back and forth when I was invited me to expand my prompt and submit it as an essay.
I wrote I Write in the Shower while my babies napped, and I can remember so viscerally the guilty angst I felt when they awoke that day and curtailed my efforts to write my way back to wholeness.
Ironically, five years on, there’s now another baby stirring from her nap as I write this. But this month, as is the norm now, the rent is paid for by my words. I would not have made it here without Literary Mama. Here I found words that gave life and meaning to the strange, displaced things I felt when I became a mother for the first time. Reading Literary Mama, I found the urge to write in me rekindled, and in writing my submission I found hope. Such a small, seemingly benign word for something so bold and risky.
In being asked to expand that prompt response into an essay I found a seed of faith that writing to pay the rent might not be so very far beyond me, which is what I’d always thought.
The baby’s unhappy gurgles have turned to full blown crying now, so once again my Literary Mama time must be cut short, but this time I don’t feel angst-ridden or guilty about my efforts to splice my heart between mothering and words. Now, thanks to Literary Mama, I only feel whole.