Over the past year, I made the conscious decision to shelf this blog. Novels do not write themselves. Essays do not grade themselves. Also, Tiny Tot is not so tiny anymore, he’s seven. Our toddler days are over. I’m in my fifth or sixth year of divorce. Nothing in my scope of single parenting seems new and exciting anymore.
Parenting, nailed it.
Or, at least that’s how I feel some days. The problem is, I haven’t nailed parenting, and I still have things to write about in the parenting world. I have an entire year of sucking as a parent under my belt, with no writing to show for it. … Wait, that’s a good thing, right? No evidence? No proof?
… Hmmm, maybe I can give this confessing thing a bit more thought.
This past year I am winning all sorts of Worst Mommy contests, but when I sit down to write about them, I stare at the computer like it’s possessed. I start wondering what my hook is, what my angle is, what I am or have learned from the experience, what might interest the reader, and how I might end the piece. After I think about all that, I give up and walk away. The most critical elements of writing should be my focus, and some days I don’t feel like I have enough to say–I haven’t overthought the situation enough to write about it.
When I write, I feel the need to lure the reader in, invite them to stay, and have them reflect on my writing in a way that’s meaningful. Or, at least potentially meaningful.
Some days, though, I feel like I haven’t learned anything, and I just need to vent. The problem with that is that I am a terrible venter. My ideas fly all over the place like a game of 52 Card Pickup. I don’t catch the ideas and present them in a way that makes sense–I just ramble on like a drunken man complaining about the woman who got away.
Which brings me to my point: should I be so worried about quality over quantity that I hinder my own writing? Maybe people want to read about how I have forgotten every important school event for the last four months.
Every one, people. I have forgotten every one.
There might be some moms might rocking that bad mom award with me (I have you beat, though), and they need to read about how terrible I am in order to feel like they’re doing amazing. Some moms might want to know how, even though I always say divorced parents with significant others should get along and NEVER, EVER say a negative thing about the other parent, I slip.
Oh, man, and I have slipped this year. Epic mess ups, right here.
Maybe there are moms out there who wouldn’t mind a discordant ramble about how I need two jobs to survive, but how my heart breaks every time my kid tells me he wishes we had Tuesday nights together. The struggle of being the main provider is real, and it’s really hard.
I always think that I need to construct these epic blog posts (however, I’ve written some terrible posts in my day. The Happy Child is a terrible blog post. The writing is so bad, I cringe thinking about it.), but maybe sometimes they don’t need to follow the parameters I set for myself. I don’t need every post to be Beowulf. I don’t need to hit that 800-1,000 word count that I love to create.
Sometimes 500-600 words is fine, and in those 500-600 words, I can reach a mom having a crappy day just like mine.
I think I’m going to try to get this blog back on track. My second novel is halfway through, and Lord knows I wrote A Soul Divided while banging out blog posts three or four times a month.
Plus, I think the world knowing about my epic parenting screw ups–like how I haven’t worn a bra to drop off once this year–might be pretty amazing to write. Stay tuned, people, I’m ready to start blogging again.