After Page One: Support
A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire
New Seeds and Writing Bridges
Kate Hopper’s Motherhood and Words online course bridged me to other mother-writers and ushered in fiercely encouraging, specific feedback. It was a powerful choice, helping me put my gleanings into words; I also gained relationships that may move forward many years.
What friendships may be forged from reading and typing personal essays, words of memoir? I hope to find out, chasing after the habits established in our 10 ½ weeks of coursework.
Two years of high school creative writing with an exceptional, looks-into-my-soul, challenges-me-for-word-choice kind of teacher radically changed me. I bounded towards writing as if by catapult. I could look inward, tug on something, scratch at some nagging thought, and spin it into something readable, something that felt better. This is the power of a teacher who says, “I know you. What you speak of is real and true. Look, see I highlighted these words.” Such a teacher propels us to read gorgeous work, think like a writer, and turn inward to what our own heart speaks.
That was high school. Almost twenty years later, I remember my own hopes for publishing work. My belly has grown round and defined with motherhood, deflating two times. I now carry stories of birth. My energy and nutrients are daily zapped and recharged with nursing and laughing. There is peace and exhaustion. I grow new limbs that carry small oaks and still, I desire delving into words, recording experience.
Writing, it seems, is a declaration. You plant a seed or you don’t. My writing covers the house in vines, connecting all the frenetic activity of family, all the old dreams and right-now recordings of not just me, but my fantastically hilarious, brilliant, own children and spouse. Now it is not just me; there is the sense of inscribing some sort of we-were-here, we-live-here, right now, as if in wet cement. I record speech and sound; I am the journal. I am the one tending the garden that gives back each season. I hold the measuring tape, the mirror, at our family experience. I am replenished.
Participating in Motherhood and Words was a grand seed of decision. The class experience showed me that I could indeed make wise decisions as a writer, from the very onset, starting with signing up for the course. I learned a great deal — valuing my own voice, selecting the right tense, the care in painting characters through my descriptions that will make images last. I remember loss. I record gain. I write to answer, “How will you know my little son with his four gapped teeth and curling ringlets, all “bedhead”? What language shall I call upon to help you conceive the very sweetness and curiosity that is him? How will I record the tender moments between daughter and dad?” I call on the help of friends—the gifted teacher, the classmates who become trusted compatriots, all of us, writers.
I weed, water, and keep on building routines that get me writing. I trust that in sifting and digging, putting my words in the light, and sharing, something glorious will spring up; it might even be a published piece.
Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects.