For each essay published by the Literary Reflections department, we share a writing prompt inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on these responses, and we post our favorites on the blog. This month’s writing prompt is inspired by Saundra Goldman’s essay, “Attachment Parenting, A Writer’s Journey.”
In “Attachment Parenting, A Writer’s Journey,” Saundra Goldman shares how, through a close relationship with her daughter—and with help from books on the craft of writing, such as Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg—she charts a course as both mother and writer.
Goldman writes that, after many nights spent reading to her child, “. . . my daughter absorbed the elements of craft—setting, voice, character, conflict—that many writers spend their life savings going to graduate school to learn.” While Goldman initially fears she will some day feel jealous of her daughter’s ability to write, she instead learns to see that talent as a gift.
In contemplating the gifts a mother grants her child, Goldman realizes both conscious care and an unintentional gift of perseverance were key to her daughter’s upbringing. By carrying on as a writer despite frustrations and setbacks, Goldman gave her daughter the gift of a positive role model, much the way her own writing mentors had done for her. “For years I felt shame about the time it was taking me to write my book and for the poor example I set for her. As it turns out, I was setting the best example I could, for writing and for life.”
What gifts, both expected and unexpected, have you given and received as a mother-writer? If you are raising a burgeoning writer, how has this development changed your view of writing and mothering?
Read Saundra Goldman’s essay here and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by June 29 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “Attachment Parenting Prompt” in your subject line. We’ll publish our favorites on the blog.