I quit because I had, in the simplest terms, outgrown the space.
I was ready to talk about more than just motherhood and wanted to speak more to my new experiences as a writer and didn’t feel like I could really do that there.
That’s the simple answer.
But, do you want to know the real, more substantial reason I stopped writing at Mommyhood NEXT RIGHT?
I stopped because I realized that the only reason I continued writing there was because I was afraid to be a woman who didn’t write there.
I had grown to need the validation that I seemed to get from writing at MNR.
It was a hobby, yes, but that was something I said when I was being dishonest about my true hopes that one day, someday, not far away, some one great would find me and pick me up from my lowly position on the floor and make me a writer, not just a writer, but a FAMOUS WRITER with a book deal, a million dollar signing bonus, and a loyal audience that cared about my hair and what I ate for lunch.
I wanted to be that kind of big.
That was making it for me, or that’s what I thought when I would stay up late into the morning hours to write a post about having to stay up late to write a post.
I was building something with MNR and the bricks of stats and page views and comments were all indicators that someday, a house would be built, a house that I could live in when my children abandoned me for their own careers and livelihoods.
The vision of the house built was what made the process seem worth it.It made it seem worth it to worry about being present with my children and husband, to have under-eye circles, to not sleep, to eat instead of sleep, and to not really fit my clothes. “Someday, my hard work will have paid off and my husband will regret that he didn’t take this “hobby” more seriously!” “Hmmph.” I would often tell myself.
This all was a seemingly minor consequence for me to be somebody. Yes, because while happy as a stay at home mom, in the back of my head, I still held out the unexplored idea that I could, and should, be so much more if only I did things right online.
I could be great if only…
I should say here that I did my blog for me. It really was for me that I wrote about my children and shared their pictures online, pictures that otherwise would have lived hidden in familial photo albums that never left our living room. But… since I have an ego and the talk of BLOGGING is so pervasive among bloggers, it was inevitable that I, too, did get caught up, often, in the race to be a better blogger. I got mixed up in the talk of niches and loyalty and audiences and the devastation of what big changes could mean to anyone SERIOUS about the rules that seem to have been written about online spaces.
“You’re blog is growing so much! You should really do something with it!” said a friend of mine when I got my first post on Babble. “You should write a book!”
“Yes!” While I had (and have) no desire to write a book about being a mommy blogger, the idea seemed feasible. Yes. And the hours spent online seemed to all make sense! Yes! A book. A book about something that would sell, or that I could sell to my audience and make millions!! Yes!
But I started and stopped that book when I realized I had no passion for it, at all. I had no passion for writing a whole book about anything on motherhood as I addressed it on my blog and I was losing passion for writing so much about my children, who, might I add, were “on” to the fact that they lived on my computer screen. “Mommy! It’s me!” my oldest daughter said when I left the screen up to a post I had written. Yes…it is,” I said, with a plastered smile that I hoped would hide my clicking of the red x box in my browser’s right corner.
I was ready to change. I decided this in the week I got sick. I didn’t want to blog at MNR anymore. I didn’t want to blog out of anxiety about what I’m doing now and fears about who I would be without my blog. I was ready to talk about more than just motherhood and to stretch myself more. I wanted to write again, and not like 500 word, oh-my-god-their-eyes-will-gaze- if-I-don’t-throw-in-some-free-pie kind of writing. I wanted to really write. I wanted to be offline more. I wanted to make my marriage more of a priority. I wanted to see myself in the mirror and feel connected to the image I saw.
So, I changed.
I decided to start this blog because I didn’t want fear to define my life anymore, in any area.
I didn’t want to be a afraid anymore.
I didn’t want to be a fearful woman. I don’t want to be a woman who is so insecure about her legacy, current station in life, and going poor and dying without a proper gravestone that she never really lived.
I didn’t want to be a fearful mother who didn’t really trust herself to be a secure, confident mother to her children.
I want to write, yes, but I want to write not just so others can comment on what I say, but because I have to write and share only when I have something to say.
Taking yourself seriously. My good friend, Ruby of Focus, Woman, wrote a post, in part, about the importance of taking yourself seriously as a woman, and that post struck a chord.
This blog is me deciding to take myself seriously.
It’s me deciding that I don’t need to be picked up, that I’m already there, that I’m a writer, that I’m able already to write and to do the things that writers who are serious do.
I am writer when I’m not mothering and a mother when I’m not writing. The two must be separate for me.
This blog is me deciding to try to set boundaries for my online life so that I can be present in my real life offline and sleep or take cake decorating classes or read Virginia Woolf essays during my children’s naps and bedtimes if that’s what makes me happy.
This blog is about me becoming fearless and writing and everything else.
This blog is ME.