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My typing woke up my baby

My Typing Woke Up My Baby

career motivation Oct 11, 2023

The above title of this piece is a good representation of what the title of my book would be, if I were to write one at the moment. Alas, because I am indeed a parent, there is no time, scratch that, not enough brainpower left in me to write an actual book. So a blog it is.

And you know what? I am damn proud of myself. This is like the 3rd real piece of writing for me this year in 4 years and... 

Hold on, my baby woke up.

Anyway…

I used to dream about writing a book. Of course I never got past quickly scribbling up the main outline, or typing up the sparkling first page and the mic-drop last one. But, even though I never actually wrote a book, I just know that if I ever did, it would be an absolute masterpiece. Like, Tolstoy, Austen and Steinbeck would get up from their graves just to read it and we-ee-eep. At least that is what I envision while hiding from my family in the shower. Everyone has their own steaming fantasy… 

 

Does the above sound familiar to you, [insert your name here]?

 

I dare say it does, because why else would you be reading this tired mom’s blog about trying to write, probably at some ungodly hour knowing full well you will hate yourself in the morning, if you weren’t neck-deep in this mud of good intentions and daydreams of writing? Welcome to the swamp, my friend.

You know why we meet here…

To wine and whine! Yaaasss! It has been medically* (I have not checked that, do not quote me) proven that moms survive mainly thanks to dates with other moms to complain for an hour. And our loved ones can shake their heads and roll their eyes all they want (hello hubby!) but the truth is… we just want to be heard and to know we are not alone.

So this is our wine date, right here, friend. This is the place for all my fellow zombies parents who really, really want to write that novel.

Since now we know why the both of us are here, let’s talk about how this 'trying to write thing' usually goes down.

 

If you are a fairly new parent, it probably looks a bit like this:

 

I am sitting here, really, really wanting to write. I feel the tingling of my fingers, my heart beat is speeding up… oh yes. This will happen today. 

Sit down at the keyboard… ah, the touch of plastic under my fingertips, so many memories… but focus. 

I am on a mission here. Must write. Something. Anything. One good line, one flowing sentence! I start. At first it’s just rambling but oh, how it starts to take some shape, and my thoughts, just molding the words, the story comes by itself somehow, I can’t contain what is happening now, I type, fervently, lightning and fireworks, wow, I am young again, I still got it, yes, yes, yeessss…

But, alas! 

What sound is that? 

No, it cannot be! 

Oh, but it is. Something needy this way comes…

Tap tap… tiny crawlers out of bed. 

Why, oh why did we have to get her an in-and-out by yourself montessori bed? Is there to be no fulfillment for my writer’s soul?

But she comes, grinning, drool leaving a trail between her fours.

And now it’s the two of us.

I keep trying to write, really keep trying to stay on the path… but one quick look and now I have gone off the road to grandma’s house and down the wild path, where the puffiest cheeks you’ve ever seen, and the blue-moon eyes and ears straight out of Rivendell and… oh! She just said GA-GA! 

Sigh.

A baby’s voice is so sweet…

…until it drags you out of your right state of mind and lures you into the deep blue sea of getting nothing done. Cutest and absolutely the worst writing buddy ever.

But my toddler and husband are gone, so I must. Keep. Writing. I cannot waste this precious time. Just type type type and hope that some part of this will be useful in the shaping process once I actually have some peaceful time to work. Just type-

Car pulled in. They’re here. Sigh.

So at another, more peaceful time, I try to write again. Except that instead of writing my blog, I’m writing sonnets to my baby’s michelin-shaped arms. AND… they’re pretty good?! Like, if the category was comic 21st century Shakespearean folklore, I’d actually get a ribbon at this thing.

Except it’s not and I’ve got a deadline coming up. Wragh!

Do you know this feeling? When you do write, it’s just… not what you thought you would be writing? Maybe before you were devouring Stephen King, slaying it with your own thrilling story and now you can’t seem to stop writing poems about your bubba’s footsies? How? What happened?

Life.

You are a parent now. You see things differently than before. You developed. Like pokemon! New baby, new you. And while you think that the writer in you shouldn’t have changed, and writing paragraphs about guts spilling should still be easy, it’s okay that it’s not. Because the parent-you and the writer-you live in the same brain. Roomies. For life. And as you grow older, those roomies will develop, new ones will join. They may not always be one happy family. But they are all you and they contribute to each other’s worlds.

This is exactly where I am right now.

So you and I, we really have to stop beating ourselves up for not being able to move forward in one genre, but unexpectedly flourishing in another. 

Instead, let’s embrace the change. My new thing; your new thing - that is what we can feed on right now. Time will show that it did not hinder previous abilities, but somehow made them better.

Happiness from the process itself makes it worthwhile.

I started this blog post saying that I used to dream about writing a book. Well, I don’t anymore.

I’m working towards it. And while I don’t even have a page written yet, I am writing. I’m writing! And God, thank you, it feels so good to be back.

Every sentence, good, bad, embarrassing; every edited comma and corrected grammar mistake; every deleted redundant word; all that makes me a better writer. Today I am one step closer to finishing my first novel.

So go on, write that nursery rhyme about those cute dimples. Or scribble down a dramatic piece about your day, sign up for the course, buy Char’s book and just... go for it!

I believe in you, Writer.

M.B. Auburn

 


M. B. Auburn
Written for The Plottery

M.B. Auburn: millennial wife and mom of 2, dancing her way through her 30s and finally bravely claiming the title: Writer.

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