Friday, November 14, 2014

Mom Writers Stripping Down

I'm introducing a new feature on Stripping Down to help create a supportive writing community. I'll be including guest posts from other mom writers reflecting on their experiences of motherhood and writing. 

We all have experiences or jobs from our pasts that we view as negative. Instead of letting those things constantly hold us back in life, we can look them squarely in the face and learn from them.

Are you a writer mom? Would you like to share with other moms? Send me an email and maybe you'll be the next guest writer!

I hope you'll enjoy reading these posts on "Stripping Down" metaphorically and perhaps they'll shed some light on how to navigate the sometimes tricky path of motherhood and life as a writer.

Mom + Writer = Magic

by Marcie Perez

I have loved writing since I was ten years old. Writing was an outlet for me growing up. Both of my brothers were older—one was out of high school and one was almost out. My parents separated for a little bit and writing was something I always had, along with music. No matter what I was feeling, I wrote, even if only a line or two.

I remember wanting to be a songwriter and a singer before I started smoking and messed up my voice. I remember the first time I went to the Warner Brothers Store and begged my mom for a Tweety Bird notebook.

Marcie Perez

My mom told me she would get it for me another time. I came home and found it on my bed after I took a shower. The first thing I remember doing was watching MTV and a Britney Spears song came on; I started writing my own lyrics and short stories. I converted my songs into poems when I realized I would not be entering the music scene.

Earlier this year, after being unemployed for a year, I said to my husband, "I am sick and tired of not being able to find work. I am going to apply to an online college, so I can still look for work, be a mom and be the best wife I can be." Since I enrolled in college, I have been able to go full force with my writing. I write about love, feeling alone, and struggles with my weight (I had a weak immune system, so doctors always gave me steroids, which made me bigger).

My writing process varies: sometimes I just write it all out on paper and sort it out when I am done, other times I will write an idea down, do an outline, then take it step by step.

I write first on paper. I normally have a notebook dedicated just to writing. I sometimes get sidetracked and start drawing. Occasionally, my drawing leads to a story.

I try not to have any concerns. If I have a writer’s block, I put my pen and paper down and walk away. I do something like watch TV, go for a walk, or work out. The best medicine I have is to turn the music up and just dance.

What excites me about writing is that I love coming up with ideas. I have been through a lot and recently I have written a lot about my past and about how we can fix things today. I was in an abusive relationship and I finally broke out of it. After a year spent being single and finding myself, I was ready to date. I met my husband through an online dating service. Now that I have found my Prince Charming and am living my fairytale, I feel inspired to write about love.

I have also written about the struggles and the great times I've had with my son, who is almost thirteen years old. I have known him since he was ten. He has been through so much bad stuff in his life, but it has led him to good through losing weight and getting good grades. He now loves to read and will take thirty books out of the library at a time. He loves to draw, listen to music and is always ready to try something once.

Growing up, I was always a go-getter, but reserved. The past few years I have felt like a new person. Being a mom is special. My son hates the word "step" and will tell everyone not to say it. My son has taught me to be a better person and always keeps me on my toes. We "as a family" are always ready to try everything—at least once.