On Writing (about not writing) in Motherhood

The flow of my writer’s mind is pulled directly by the rhythm of motherhood. My enthusiasm for making time to write and invest in my creative self is intimately connected to the vibes I’m absorbing from daily life, and the momentum or inertia that brings light and dark. 

I’m captivated by the tension and paradox in mothering and the relationships within. Each day little phrases and ideas coalesce from the depths of daydreams ruminating on ordinary moments, often faster than I can encapsulate into words my fleeting thoughts and bring them outside of myself to make them tangible as record or process. Sometimes I’m able to jot them down as they bubble up to the surface and if not they float away from me—it’s a very rare occasion then when I can reel them back in to work them out on paper later. Most good ideas escape me because my craft is not shaped in real-time by thunderbolt inspiration, it is sequestered to the weekend when I step away in solitude, released from the sweet chaos of the week and in need of so many things. Not surprisingly, by then I am mush and my page is often left blank.

My current writing practice instead feels more like an exercise in overcoming the shame and disappointment of having let time pass in silence—writing intentions held hostage by life. It is patience to let the word count accumulate in two-minute increments frantically captured in Notes on my phone. It is permission to ferment in deep emotion free from self-imposed expectation to produce from it something meaningful beyond the three young humans I’m raising up. It is a growing respect to yield when motherhood demands to be lived in real-time. It is resolve to find a way to get the words out even when motherhood has me feeling out of step.


Richmond, VA

Jacqueline is a freelance and creative nonfiction writer, and sometimes blogger at www.BoldHeartMama.com. She and her husband are raising their three kids in a city they love and pursuing together a life of inquiry, creativity, and adventure. This piece was inspired by a kernal I posted on instagram, and was most definitely pulled together in a bunch of 2 minute increments, as my writing is only made possible these days! Follow along on Instagram @boldheartmama.