As a copywriter, I spend my days helping clients express themselves in a way that feels natural, authentic and engaging. I write and discuss and revise until everything is just right – the perfect package, tied up in a neat little bow, ready to go off into the world. I work hard to make my clients happy because it genuinely matters to me, and I love what I do. And then I collect my paycheque, cash it out in small bills, and roll around on a bed of money because my life is basically an ’80s movie.
(Part of that was untrue.)
I also write for magazines, and love it. No matter how far we move away from print media, I still feel a rush at the sight of a hard copy article with my name on it. There’s something about a magazine or newspaper byline that feels more special than a digital one – more permanent? – and I’ll happily work on editorial projects whenever I can, no matter how busy I am with work, family, and life in general.
And then, there’s blogging, my personal outlet. I love writing, though it feels strange to say it that way. Of course I love writing – it’s what I do professionally, how I record the happiest and most impactful moments in my life, and how I comfort myself in hard times. It’s therapy and freedom. I write letters to my children, my friends, the world. I capture snapshots of my life and emotions in scribbled messages in notebooks, or captions under a photograph. I read articles and books and feel my heart swell with the desire to write my own narratives. Any writer will tell you that this is not a job or a hobby; it’s a compulsion. I never stop writing, because I cannot stop writing, and would never want to.
So why do I suck so much at updating my blog? I don’t have a lack of inspiration or stories to share, or any sort of anxiety about what people may think about me. There’s nothing ominous lurking in the background, giving me anxiety or even thoughtful pause. But oh my god, kids. I have kids. And that’ll do it.
Mommyblogger is a phrase that I hear often and mostly hate. I’m a writer, and I have a blog, so I’m a blogger, I guess…and a mom. That always comes first. I blog about my kids, in a deliberately vague sense, and more often, I blog about being a mom…among other things. Can I not just be a writer? Like, a human writer with a family and a life and an interest in many things? I don’t need to cutesy label anymore than Beyonce needs to be a Mommy-Singer or Sheryl Sandberg is a (Bad-ass) Mommy-CEO. And yes, I’m clearly on that level.
Anyway, back to why I suck, and blaming my kids.
My days are long and busy and punctuated by a to-do list that never ends. I work full-time, manage my household, co-chair school council, volunteer when I can, and attempt to have a social life, among other things. I barely sleep and can’t remember the last time I ate a meal uninterrupted, got my nails done or sat quietly and read a book (unless you count on the train to work). Which is to say that I’m a normal mother of young children, and live a totally average, typical mom-life.
So hats off to the writers who make it happen, publishing not only for work but for themselves on a regular basis. You clearly have your shit together better than I do, and I bow down. I may be able to Instagram the hell out of my days, but when it comes to writing more than a caption, HOW IS THERE TIME? I find it sometimes, at midnight or 1am, when the space around me is finally silent and undemanding. But more often, I feel these moments just beyond my grasp, and the words stay locked away until they fade into the recesses of my mind. I like to think I have a brilliant project tucked in the back of my memory, waiting to be pieced together after about five years of catch-up sleep.
So writers, bloggers, moms and dads, everyday people who have their shit together and make it all seem so organic and seamless – keep on kicking my ass. Maybe one day I’ll join you, but for now, expect more of my trademark binge-posting-then-silence pattern while I scribble in notebooks and write novels in my head as I fall asleep. These locked away missives will be out in the world one day, I know…probably after the kids graduate college, or if I go to jail. Is jail an option? I’m thinking I’d get more sleep there, too.