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Creative Every Day: Honor Your Identity

Once in a while, I am asked why I mostly work with mom writers. The answer, of course, is because I am a mom writer.

I realize that there is a large part of the population who are not moms. Certainly there is an even larger portion who are not mom writers. Some writers are even men (wink).

I like people who are not moms. And because I am a writer and I work so intensely with writers year in and year out, I have a unique perspective on the behaviors, agonies, and ecstasies of writers in general, and mom writers specifically.

I never forget that mom writers are my tribe. We face some very specific and large challenges that other types of writers who are not moms do not face and will not face unless and until they become moms.

I am not saying that other kinds of writers are not busy, economically challenged, and somewhat stressed, because, in my opinion, that describes just about everyone in entire country right now.

I’m also not saying that dads don’t face major challenges. I  think that dads face plenty of significant challenges. But since I’m not a dad, I’ll leave addressing and discussing those challenges to them.

When we bring writing into the mom equation, we ratchet the challenge factor up by quite a few notches. This is a large enough topic that I wrote an entire book about it. Many other books have written on the topic, as well. I am sure even more will be written. For single mothers, the writing challenges become sharply steep.

As for me, I want to be able to say that I am a mom and a writer and that both are important parts of my identity and that my desire to assist and inspire others in my tribe is not meant to diminish or bring down any other kinds of writers. I also want to be able to say that my participation in my tribe is is meant to raise all boats among mom writers. And that my work, in general, is also intended to raise all boats among all writers.

I’ve worked hard.  I feel good about the job I’ve done. To say that I’ve consistently gone the extra mile for mom writers would be a pretty big understatement. So, I’m cool with my choices. And I hope that this helps writers who are not moms understand where I am coming from.

Whoever you are, I don’t think you need to become more like me. I am middle-aged, married, the mother of an only child, I live in the suburbs, and I have way too many pets. My hair is going gray, my waistline is suffering from sitting too long on my arse, and a whole bunch of other imperfections that I am sure you don’t want to hear about.

My point is this: I think I am doing a decent job being me. I think you are doing very well being you. In fact, if I were going to offer any kind of encouragement to creative folks it would be to be more like you and less like others.

I’m proud to be a member of the mom-writer team and I’m proud to be a member of the writer team. I am very much looking forward to celebrating with the mom writer tribe every day during the month of May. I hope any writers who are not a member of this specific tribe will stick around and enjoy learning about the mom authors I will be featuring. We are a pretty awesome group of creative women and we deserve this and so much more.

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  • Heidi Smith Luedtke April 29, 2011, 10:41 am

    This is such an important point, Christina. I think moms are sometimes so focused outward (toward our husbands, children, friends, homes and career choices) that we lost site of who we are and start trying to be what everyone or everything else wants/needs us to be. I’m re-reading a book by Robin Fisher Roffer called ” Make a Name for Yourself: 8 Steps every woman needs to create a personal brand strategy for success.” I’ve read and completed it before (it’s got a lot of exercises throughout) and I’d say she does a great job of helping the reader discover who they are, what they love, what they bring to the table, their own value proposition, etc. It’s funny that my answers are mostly the same as last time I did the exercises but I had sort of forgotten them. 🙂