Sunday, December 12, 2010

Confidential to a Mama...

We were speaking recently about keeping a blog- writing to record our experiences as mothers, as women. We spoke about others whose writing we enjoy and, with more than a little self-deprecation we laughed, diminishing our own work and words. Comparisons creeped in, followed shortly by that all-too-familiar voice of doubt. One woman is a brilliant and funny storyteller, another an assured and well-researched source for advice on healthful living and this led somehow to you feeling less than in some way. As though your voice matters less, can not compete perhaps, is not worth sharing.

Your words echoed the ones that sometimes fill my own head. Especially recently, when thinking about returning to this personal project after (more than) a month's absence and facing that surging feeling of what is the point?

I don't really have an answer. But I do hope you keep writing. And I hope to continue as well. Because each time we put our experiences into words- however, awkward, inelegant, or fumbling we may feel them to be--  we create the possibility of connection with one another, with anyone who happens by to read. More importantly, in taking action and writing for ourselves we win a small victory over that inner voice that doubts, that compares, that diminishes. And as women, as mothers,  I think we need as many of those small victories as possible.

The memory of a fragment of a quote came into my head as I started to write this and it took me a minute to recall the source. It turns out it could not possibly have been more relevant:

"So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. " (Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own)

I think that is a fitting closing for the moment and one I hope you will take to heart (as I will try to also).