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Too Busy to Read This? Read On….

by Whatever Girl on March 13, 2010 · 0 comments

If you are a busy mum with no spare time, mountains of laundry, a dirty kitchen floor and a heart full of stories then read on because I’ve got a challenge for you. If you choose to accept this challenge, that laundry pile may get a bit bigger, and the floor a little dirtier, but your heart will definitely be a little lighter.

Writing about my life as a mother has taken me on a journey of learning and self-discovery like nothing else. I could never have dreamed up half the crazy things that my kids have done or said, or my own emotional responses. For years these events and stories bumped around in my head, jostling for space with after-school schedules, soccer tryouts, swimming lessons, what to have for dinner, and other dilemnas of the mundane. Sometimes a story would make it to the front of the line, burst out of my mind and onto the blank page in front of me. But more often than not, the need for sleep or the demands of a child (or husband) would stand, like a bouncer, with its arms crossed, at the door, and shake its big head. Don’t even think about it. And the story would trudge back down the line behind tomorrow’s lunches and the Visa bill. I’ll try again, later, with a different shirt on this time.

I finally gave myself permission to fire those self-imposed bouncers. I was going on a trip to Europe with my kids and my mother. We had been a couple times before and while a picture does say a thousand words, it doesn’t remember those words for any length of time. It was time to start writing down all the great experiences I was having.  They were welling up inside me and spilling down onto the page – I blogged every night in my hotel room or cottage bedroom or on the train and loved every second of it.  (You can read about my adventures at www.whats-the-plan.blogspot.com). I got a great response and an instant bevy of followers. Friends started to suggest that I should write more and I allowed myself to admit that really, writing is my passion.

And so I called Sue Fast, the editor of Island Parent magazine. I had met her before and always found her editorials to be engaging, heartfelt, and hilarious. We met one afternoon for coffee and spent a delightful hour talking about writing and why it is so important for mothers to find their voices. Sue was full of advice and put me on to Cori Howard and her Momoir Project. You can visit the site at http://www.themomoirproject.com/.

Cori, a mother and an award winning journalist and author herself, has created a brilliant thing for mothers everywhere who want to write. She offers online courses, one-on-one coaching, as well as writing classes in cities across North America. Yes, it is slightly intimidating but that is one of the best reasons for trying it. When I met Cori for one-on-one coaching in Vancouver I was terrified. Where, I thought to myself as I walked ino the cafe to meet her for the first time, was I going with this? Who, in her right mind, sends a part of her soul to a complete stranger for a critique? Well, me, apparently. Turns out to be the best thing I ever did and that is why I feel compelled to encourage others to try it too. And the best part is that Cori offers writing classes right here in Victoria and Sue is the instructor.

Sam Agar is a current student in the class which, she says, has really ‘lit up’ her life. Sam talks of a “peer scaffold” of support and how sharing and writing with other women is such an amazing thing. “The camaraderie of the other writers in the group was fantastic, because we were all mothers. It is a release just to get our feelings into words”. I know exactly what she means. Once I learned that however small I think my life as a mother has become, there are thousands of other mothers out there who all share my tiny little world. And together, we aren’t small anymore. It’s validating, it’s cathartic and it’s an awakening.

Do yourself a favour and check it out. Our stories are worth telling.

Here. I’ve done the work for you:

Classes in Victoria begin Thursday, April 15

Every other week for six sessions
Location: Cornerstone Cafe, in Fernwood
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Cost: $420 (including reading package and all taxes)

To register or to find out more visit http://www.themomoirproject.com/.

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