There’s this pretty cool tagging exercise going around in which writers talk about why they do what they do, and share their writing processes. It’s my turn!
Ok fine, it was my turn a while ago but we had Important Life things going on, such as Tucker’s Preschool Graduation, which included out-of-town guests, a rockin’ party, and a bounce house.
They include me realizing that I have a little baby who is now five years old. That my little baby is an almost bigkid. To celebrate, we went on a party-on excellent 4th of July beach vacation (on which I came to the conclusion that special needs parenting is better than sea monkeys).
Aaaaand, my Listen to Your Mother video is out! If you haven’t watched it, I’d love for you to do so. I read to a live audience of f’real people, and not a single one was a stuffed animal that I am aware of. Plus, the other videos are amazeballs.
Anyway, here’s the deal. Writers and bloggers tag one another and we share about ourselves and our writing processes.
Originally, I was tagged by the talented Allison of Go Dansker Mom, who said that I have three years to answer (which means I’m actually early). She said I was freakish. I think she likes me back! Allison writes about being a mom, writing, crafting (but not in the icky way because she’s super cool), cooking, and fitness. She is fabulous. I once even got to see her adorable self on a Google Chat, to talk about my blog. She’s cool on that format, too.
Then, I told Kim that of course I’d like to be tagged when she asked because she’s the brave, brave superpower behind All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something. She shares about her awesome kid, is funny, and is also hugely inspiring to anybody who has suffered postpartum depression, bipolar 2 disorder. She’s not only hot, but deep. And brave. Did I say brave?
Then,one of my very first blog HEART HER HUGE friends of all time, Emily from Oh Boy Mom, tagged me in her amazing post. Emily writes about maintaing humor through motherhood, raising three boys, and, more recently, about her 9-year old son (Little Dude), who was diagnosed with a rare type of pediatric tumor. Emily realized that no matter what challenges each of us are going through, that laughter – and writing about it – is key to happiness. Emily has always been a wonderful friend, and has given me tooManyToCount pieces of advice about motherhood and a-typical child rearing. And life. Emily is good at life.
Because I was
so slow in replying to the above tags too busy to write a post about writing, the introspective and compassionate author Yvonne, of Inquiring Parent (and book Drawings in Sand) had time to ask me if I’d like to be tagged as well. Of course! Because this amazing woman taught me that the difference between self esteem and self compassion is actually not only significant, but super important. Yvonne practices what she preaches, and documents the process in a way that is inspiring and relatable. If you don’t know her, go now.
Finally (and OMG if I’m leaving somebody out PLEASE feel free to call me out), the hilariously funny and touching Marcia of Menopausal Mother tagged me (she’s got a book coming out!) as well. Marcia is the mother to four (and grandmother to one) and possesses a husband who was willing to pose for a picture wearing a miracle gut girdle. Marcia is somebody whose writing transcends age and experience – she’s relatable to all of her readers. Men, women, menopause, and life, she’s got humor and heart covered.
I’m telling you – if you don’t know these women, you should.
Feel free to
stalk follow them now. I’ll wait. They’re worth it.
Okay then! Here are the questions I’m supposed to answer:
1. What am I working on?
I’m working on not being an asshole. Finding balance in parenting, writing, advocating, working, wifing, and personing. It’s harder than it sounds. The personing part, most especially.
Want the more professional answer? I’m working at part-time as a marketing director for a data destruction and electronics recycling company and am the DC Editor for SavvySource, where I share cool stuff for kids to do in DC.
And yeah, the other stuff. Like being an air-traffic controller for my Ninee-finding son, and navigating life, as I navigate life. I guess that’s what I’m working on.
Writing-wise, there are five (for real five) cyber-dust-gathering novels simpering in my hard drive right now. Which I’m not working on. But I will be, soon. Because I really really want to write a book. So I’m working on finding time to work on a book. Or to shift priorities, or something.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
While I write primarily about special needs parenting and seeing the beauty in how and who my little boy is, I write about other stuff. How I felt grief over him not being the boy I’d dreamed of. And being unbelievably thankful for the boy he is. I write about my life, and being a skank in the 1980’s. About being abducted by aliens and realizing that I don’t want to change my past. About the whateverness, and being stupid.
I like to think that while special needs parents come here for understanding, compassion, and – when needed – a place to cry and vent, that it’s important that none of us define ourselves completely through our special needs parenting experiences. We have life.
We have beauty.
Sadness. Celebrations. And really, we’re more like everybody than we’re not, so I try to not just be a special needs parenting blog. Because togetherness. Empathy and wonder.
I write about what’s happening in my head and in my heart, and, a lot of the time, that means writing about special needs and autism. But not all of the time.
I write when I’m inspired to. Getting inspired to write usually stems from one of the little moments – a grin at a playground, a conversation with another parent about what we wish you knew about autism and special needs, a worry about school crushing my son.
I’m inspired by lightness and darkness, both within and outside of myself.
I’m inspired by the moments and the years.
By this amazingly fabulous, special, brave, and overwhelmingly awesome little boy.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I began Finding Ninee when Tucker first started his Preschool Autism Class. I’d quit my comfortable (70-hour/week) job when he was born, and had spent the past three years hanging out with my little guy. Having my first and only baby at 40 made me look at life’s priorities. Having special needs and autism enter my heart and my home made me want to share my story.
Originally, this blog began as a memoir. I was excited about it, and wrote thousands and thousands of words. I googled “publishing a memoir” and read that a publisher would rather shave a cat than read another memoir, said fuck it, and decided to blog.
I knew nothing about blogging when I started. Nothing. I had no idea how many bloggers there were, or that it was something that would suck my time when it came to connections and social media and all the rest.
I also didn’t realize how rewarding and amazing it would be. That I’d find for real friends, and that I – with my tiny words- would make some mamas out there feel less alone. That part is pretty mind-blowing and inspiring, and keeps my sanity during the darker moments. It makes the darker moments light.
4. How does your writing process work?
I don’t have a writing process.
Which is to say, that it goes something like this. “I should write something”
And then I decide to wait until I’m inspired to write, and do important things like researching and working on finding a solution to obtain world peace.
Or, something like that.
Of course, my most brilliant and inspired ideas come when I’m not in front of the computer. One of my most popular posts, “A Land of Empathy and Wonder,” which has been featured on Scary Mommy and The Mighty, was one I thought of while sitting on the toilet. It was a Finish the Sentence Friday prompt (before I was a co-host) and it was something like “If I could live anywhere, I’d live…” and I couldn’t think of a single place I wanted to live. I was actually going to skip linking up that week, until BOOM! Inspiration (on the toilet). It happens.
Ideas and inspiration come during walks, driving, at the grocery store, and they come when I’m lying in bed with my son, waiting for him to fall asleep. Sometimes, when they come, I write them down, and they look like this:
Sometimes, I don’t have paper with me so I email myself a reminder.
Later, I look at both paper and emailed message and wonder WTF I was thinking about. Most of the time, I have no idea.
Tagging: It’s my turn to name three bloggers that are free to participate in this “Why do I write what I write” game, or, blow it off. I’m not judgy that way (possibly because I blow stuff off all the time). Here they are!
Echo, who is just cool and fabulous and blogs at The Mad Mommy (she homeschools and stuff and totally gets why some playground moms are dicks so you’ll love her).
Kerri, of Undiagnosed but Okay, who you probably know because she was one of my first BFFs forever and her daughter and Tucker are pretty much negotiating dowries right now.
and Kristi – not just because of her awesome name but because she is awesome and the owner of Thankful Me. Plus, she agreed to be tagged and will probably actually play along because well, she’s awesome.
That’s it! Happy Friday and feel free to consider yourself tagged if you’d like to be and share your writing process.
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