[Ed. Note: alternatively this post could be titled “A Little Glimpse Into My Neuroses”.]
This morning I read a blog post from one of my favorite autism mommy bloggers, Sharon, at Mama’s Turn Now-How My Son with Asperger’s is Teaching Me to be Happy. In this particular post she writes about how she is obsessed with “being liked” by her readers and whether she is getting positive results from her writing or whatever it is she’s gotten herself involved in. And is this personality trait of hers affecting her kids in a positive way or a negative one?
This post struck a chord immediately with me. First, let me clarify that Sharon is a real-life, published author. Besides being an awesome, inspiring mom, she WRITES! And she is amazing at that too! I can really relate to a lot of the topics she writes about! In this particular post of hers, what I totally get is that need/want to be “liked”.
A couple of years back a friend planted an insanely crazy seed in my head that I should try my hand at writing. She steered me to an online writing community, Thinking 10-A Writer’s Playground. In a moment of
weakness curiosity I checked it out and next thing you know I was writing some flash fiction. My husband was and is also quite nuts to support me in this new endeavor and continues to encourage me almost daily! Several months later by sheer luck, a couple of my pieces got chosen to be published in a book made up of a collection of works from that site.
Feeling like I was “on a roll” and wanting to write more I started this blog. Mainly as a place to work on my writing skills but I discovered it was quite cathartic for me. And as a bonus I have been able to connect with so many other folks out there parenting in the spectrum!
This in turn has lead me to worrying about what I’m writing. Is it any good? Is anyone even reading this, let alone liking it? Is anything I’m saying really making any difference? This then cycles into what I call my “wannabe-writer’s block” and “PWP ” (paralyzed with procrastination).
I don’t do much very well…yet I want too. Sometimes desperately. But because I get so caught up in how I’m writing, agonizing over each word, each paragraph’s construction…many times I end up not writing anything. And don’t even get me started on topic! Quite often I will be working on a post and then see that someone else has just published something similar, yet much more awesome on the same thing. And almost as often I find myself inspired by someone else’s blog topic. Either way, I won’t then use what I had been working on for fear of people thinking I am “copying” or that I am unable to come up with my own unique idea! The process of writing and NOT writing is exhausting and downright painful for me. When it comes down to it I ‘m really a “reader” versus a “writer”. (This also applies to my new interest in making jewelry or just about anything I think I might like to try!)
Mama’s Turn Now’s post has made me think about how my neuroses might affect my kiddos; in nature and nurture! What will they get by genetics? By environment? What messages am I sending them? They already have to overcome the genetics that have been given to them but by gosh, I should try not to add to it in the environment in which they are raised!
Monday night I posted this little exchange on my Facebook page between myself and my youngest on our way home from her dance class: LUCY: I made a wish mama and since it is a wish just for girls I can tell you. ME: Ok, what did you wish for? LUCY: I wish that when I grow up I can be a princess and live in a tall tower. But my wish will never come true. ME: Well why not? LUCY: Because that’s not real, Mama. ME: Well, my Goose, sometimes we have to MAKE our own dreams come true! If you work real hard in school when you grow up you can build your own tower and be the princess of your own empire. LUCY: I don’t think so Mama, because I don’t want to work so hard that much.
Spoken like a true under-achiever. My little one said it. Out loud. Did she get that from me? Yeah…probably. Often I like to prescribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” model of parenting. *sigh*
Somehow I need to push past the pain and exhaustion if I ever want a chance of writing something more than this blog. But at the same time…I’m not sure I really feel like a writer. Is it worth it to agonize over every potential typo, grammar error, or finding just the precise vocabulary word to use and where? The writers I read so often make it seem so effortless. They put so much out there! And often! They don’t seem to have this problem. Heck, it’s taken all damn day for me to feel like I can hit the publish button on this post!
I’m an insecure person and an even more insecure writer (for lack of a better word) and I don’t think that’s going to change much. Yes, I LOVE it when I get “likes” and comments! Yes, I worry and I’m sad when I don’t. But why do I let that matter? If I allow myself to be so afraid to write that I DON”T write then what’s the point? Then I am certainly NOT a writer.
I am a little more than star-struck and always so amazed and in genuine awe of the bloggers and writers that I have befriended, either virtually or in real life. Most post something incredible just about every day! Those that have written WHOLE books…I just can’t imagine! Y’all know who you are! I DO read what you write, whether it be in a book, a blog, a comment on my page, or in an email to me! I hold on to your words! I will do a better job of letting you all know that I am reading by hitting the “like” key and sharing your writing more often and commenting when I can!
And I am going to try not to worry too much. Oh sure, there’s a part of me, not so deep down, that would secretly (or perhaps not-so-secretly) love to be a real writer. But this blog and my writing is for ME! I’m just a regular mom of some pretty fantastic kids and I happen to love to read. I also enjoy sharing our story. I need to remember that. I will not obsess over my stats page. I can’t worry about if anyone is reading what I put out there. Otherwise I will never write anything. I will appreciate (and admittedly hope for) more views, comments, likes, etc. But I need to worry less about what others think. It’s what I would want my kids to do. I want them to be more than just a “wannabe”!