Apparently, I am a mommy blogger.
NOT, necessarily, a writer.
Really? I'm not?
I have always hesitated to use that word to describe myself. Writer. I have a degree in English. Does that make me a writer? I've been paid to write (not much, but more than a few dollars). Does that make me a writer? My 5th grade teacher said I was "Awesome" and gave me lots of gold stars. Does that make me a writer?
I write, but does that make me a writer?
I write about my past, the histories that have become threaded into the frayed fabric that is my life.
I write about this whole mom gig. I'm not sure if anyone ever picks up on my fears, but they are there, preening beneath my words.
I write about silly things, like my desperate attempt to yank a toy out of its plastic prison or about having a rather intense competitive spirit.
Sometimes, I write through tears. Wiping them away while I forge ahead with an idea, a hope, a dream.
Sometimes, I write through laughter. Gagging on my Lucky Charms as I shake my head and pound the keyboard in a fit of hilarity (trust me, you own the laughter more than I do).
I don't know.
Maybe I am a writer.
There are some that will disagree. There are some that will say that I am nothing but a talentless hack. A wanna-be. A bored mom desperate to fill nap times. A lonely (young--yes, let's say YOUNG, shall we?) woman with nothing better to do.
Fine. Say it. Believe it. Maybe I am it.
But I'll be damned if I'll let someone else tell me I'm NOT a writer. That as a blogger I am "less than."
The blog is the vehicle by which we share our lives, our stories and ourselves. We do it with words. Words that pound the virtual page with conviction. With emotion. With power. Unlike the dusty journals that sit at our nightstand or the memoir that we are building one document at a time, the blog is our testament. To a life lived and a life shared.
A writer need not have a fancy degree. A writer does not need to bend the phrase like Shakespeare or Hemingway. A writer does not need to brandish the title like an ill-crafted weapon. A writer does not ever feel the need to tell someone else that they are NOT a writer.
A true writer writes with passion, celebrating the words and relishing in the story. A true writer embraces community and encourages expression. From profound revelations and satirical observations to heartfelt anecdotes to stunning images of unspoken words . . . a true writer . . . just writes. With zeal. With honesty. With humor. With hope . . .
Yes. YOU are a writer. Claim it. And don't let anyone tell you any different.
The mother, with tear-stained cheeks and trembling fingers, writes about losing her child. She reaches out and we reach for her. Holding her up and drying her tears.
The father, with awe and humor, shares the stories of his young son as he catches glimpses of the man he will one day become.
The young woman who is reborn within the words that she scatters along the page--reclaiming her independence, her youth, her life from an unkind history.
The new mom who courageously raises her baby boy while trudging through classes and hoping for her husband's safe return from overseas writes of her life with an edgy wit as profound depth ripples just beneath the surface.
We are out there. Don't be distracted by our cute headers. The photos of our babies. The silly stories we tell. There is a hell of a lot more to us. Just read . . . if you dare.
We are out there. We are writing. And we are getting really, really good.
And the only thing we ask . . . just give us a little respect.
Because you can never truly know the power of the blog . . . of the power of the writer who writes it.
* * *
Thursday, February 5, 2009