Why I Write

(See that picture over to the left? Don’t be too impressed. That’s the more polished verion of professional-writer-me courtesy of Kristine Walsh Photography and some good lipstick, but unfortunately this is a more accurate representation of my personality.)

When I was in the second grade, I snagged my first byline. It appeared before a story about a periodontal Tarzan who climbed into kids’ mouths and swung from their molars clinging to floss. The little guy made it his mission to save kids from the ills of cavities. My teacher loved it (she was not married to a dentist to the best of my knowledge) and entered it in a contest. It somehow won even though I used the word “neurotic” completely out of context, and it was published in a children’s literary journal.

I was hooked. I decided then and there that I’d be a writer (or possibly an actress or maybe a horse trainer). And so today I write (because a trip to Tinseltown left a lot to be desired and the reality of training Seabiscuits wasn’t nearly as romantic as my kid fantasy).

As a child, I wrote bad poetry and lots of stories. I started keeping a journal as soon as I learned how to write (I have over 20 old-fashioned journals filled to date). I pursued a journalism degree in college (along with a minor in theatre), and my first real writing job was in the marketing department of an academic medical center where I wrote generic health articles (how to reduce your risk of a heart attack) and more scholarly articles geared toward physicians. Soon I’d carved out a niche in health and medical writing and launched a freelance career on the side. I did some feature writing and corporate PR work, and I also kept my hand in writing fiction – my first love.

Before too long I landed my dream job working as an assistant editor for a regional parenting publication. I actually got paid to write essays and features every day. Then I got pregnant, quit the day job, but kept freelancing because I was our family’s sugar mama while my husband was still in medical school.

I still freelance write when life allows, but I’ve cut way back so I can concentrate on my most important works in progress – my children. (They’re much harder to shape than stories, I’ve discovered.) Since becoming a mom, I also aim to write about what I (try) to live and contribute mainly to parenting and faith-based publications.

I jumped on the blogging bandwagon back in 2007, and I’ve never looked back. Unfortunately for you, I write about whatever is on my mind, which means a lot of my posts end up being about calamitous diaper episodes. I can be sappy. I can sound like a 6-year-old (we frequently use the word beanie in our house, which is a euphemism for passing gas in case you didn’t know). I can be long-winded (obviously). I can be brief (I promise). I can be spiritual. I can be goofy. I can be way too stinkin’ serious and annoyingly introspective. I can use writing as a form of catharsis or entertainment. I can be an obnoxious mom and post only the most flattering pictures of my darling offspring. And I can be brutally honest and write about some of my worst mommy moments.

I love to write, and I love being a mom (almost all of the time). I suppose that’s why I started blogging in the first place. It seemed like a good fit to be a blogging mom since both motherhood and writing can be solitary pursuits. But something happened along the way as I started exploring the blogosphere, reading others’ blogs, and hearing from fellow moms in the trenches. Thanks to God’s providence, my blog took on a greater purpose: To support women in their vocations as wives and mothers. That’s really why I’m here.

Maybe that’s why you’re here, too: Because you’re in the trenches of motherhood and you “will work for children” no matter the cost. I hope more than anything my blog will be a conduit for community, a safe space to support one another in our vocations. And maybe every once in awhile my words will give credit where credit is due. Everything I have is because of Him.

“For from him and through him and for him are all things.” (Romans 11:36)