I started Sex Lives of Moms a year ago. I wanted to write a book about the sexuality of mothers and someone told me I should start a blog, so I did. The blog has had a lot of growing to do as I figured out not only the logistics of setting up a blog, but of writing for one. I should warn you, this post is about writing, meaning it is a long one. You might want to take a break and make yourself a sandwich if you are feeling committed to reading it regardless of its length (and thank you, by the way, if you are).
Writing, that’s the tough part. I always read things and think, I could easily write that, and do it better. I have a crazy intelligent sister who loves spending hours curled up with her laptop writing for her teaching blog who has also written a memoir-of-sorts based on three summers she spent at a home for elderly sex workers in Mexico (yes, this exists) that she stopped submitting to agents because she’s sick of it (the submitting, but also the book.)
Let me tell you, I’ve read it, as has every member of my family, and her book is great. But it doesn’t meet her standards, so in the meantime it sits in her documents file as she continues pumping out really solid writing about her job as a teacher and about education.
Like I said, I started this blog because I hope to write a book. I should also say, I’m pretty sure that if I had the book written and sitting in my documents file I don’t think I’d be able to write another word until I got it published, or self-published; needing outside validation of having completed such a massive accomplishment.
But not my sister, nope, she just writes because she can’t not write. I admire that more than I can say. I hear that about writers; that they write because they have the compulsion to do so. I don’t feel that way myself. I went years without writing anything. I also wrote way too much for many of my formative years and I have piles of journals to show for it. They are all addressed to God. And who doesn’t want to read pages and pages of fourteen-year-old writing enumerating the various attributes of certain boys in her grade–all in prayer format? But, I digress.
Writing this blog makes me write. Without an ultimate goal, deadlines, or even some good old fashioned arm-twisting I can be pretty useless in the getting-shit-done department. So starting a blog has helped me write. Lesson #1 Start a blog if you want to write a book, have no idea where to begin, and just need a project that makes you write.
I started this blog because I want to write about sex and moms–a huge topic right? But when it came time to write, the only place I could tap into that felt honest and flowed easily were from my own experiences, my own sex life. I was liberated by writing about it and terrified. Seriously, if my grandma ever finds this blog and reads about my preferred brand of lube or vibrator I’ll just….um….own it, I guess–and offer recommendations if she’s looking for any. Doubtful, but it’s taken me awhile to get to that point. So, lesson #2: Own your platform: I am a mom. I write about sex. Even if my grandma reads this, I will hold my head high.
Back to writing. Writing is hard. The words build up in my head, the ideas, the stories I want to share, but when I sit down to write them out I am often just frozen. Frozen with fear of writing badly. Blogging makes me have to write badly, because a first draft is nothing but shitty. All I have to do is look in the archives and pull up past blog posts and I find mistakes I am always editing out,poorly written stuff, and embarrassing cliches. But hidden in there are nuggets I’m proud of, ideas that took courage to write about, and I’m even proud of the bad stuff because at least I did it. Lesson #3 I am proud of my body of work on sex and motherhood, crappy stuff and all.
Lesson #4 I have no idea how semi-colons work. Seriously, just ask my wonderful writing coach. She comments on my writing with things that I should know by now, like: Sarah! Four semi-colons in a ten word sentence are NOT ALLOWED. She has also banned me from using italics, bold, and parentheses until I can learn to use them correctly.
(This lesson has yet to take hold).
What else? Oh yeah, no exclamation points are allowed in good writing, no contractions, and many other rules I only semi-understand. I once sent a four sentence description of something I wrote to my crazy intelligent writer sister and she wrote me back four paragraphs on all the grammatically incorrect errors it had in it that made my writing weak. I should also say I have read Strunk & White, recently even. I still don’t get it. I’m a mid-western gal and for me good writing is not using phrases like, “Them moms was real confused ‘bout why they didn’t feel like some sexy time no more since they has had kids.” Okay, that sounds like a redneck Borat, but you get my point.
Now, to wrap this all up…..
What I’ve done this year that I’m proud of:
-Started a blog about moms and SEX and kept it going (don’t they say most blogs die after about six months?)
-Had my blog traffic grow from five hits a day to almost four hundred, currently. I am pretty sure these are all fetishists looking for mom porn sites, but I’ll take what I can get.
-Getting ready to unveil a new look that will no longer make this website look like a 5th grader’s class project.
-Working on an e-book for new moms that will be available here sometime in the near future.
-Learned from, and been inspired by, the amazing women (you know who you are) who have let me interrogate them about their sex lives and have shared openly about their sexual adventures and misadventures THANK YOU!!
and finally, [drumroll]
-Motivated at least a half-dozen women I know to purchase vibrators in the past year. This, is my greatest accomplishment.
Need I say more?
Other than, anyone wanna buy me the martini at the top?