Me: On being a ‘serious’ writer

serious-writer-blog

My hubby is not just my number one fan – he is also my only fan. It’s natural then that he wants me to succeed at this writing caper. After last week’s blog post (which you can read here), he turned his pensive face to me and said, ‘you know I love your blog, and your Snapchats, but (uh-oh), do you worry about people taking you seriously as a writer?’

It’s a valid question. Can someone who publicly shares Snapchat videos of themselves, wearing virtual cat ears and talking about their experience of taking a poo in a litter tray, be trusted with a client brief? I hope there is a resounding ‘yes’ right now, because I am also entrusted with the care of three children while hubby is at work, and I don’t want people thinking that I am not serious about keeping them alive.

Today’s mums are expected to fulfil many roles on any given day (stay with me – there is a point coming). A typical day for me begins somewhere between five and six am. I wake cranky from lack of sleep, which is why the kids are all daddy’s boys in the morning. Hubby will stroll into the bedroom, light-footed, after a one-hour workout at the gym. He’ll glance over at me, half-dead against the pillow, with either one or three children piled around me. The kids flee from me then, to the safety of their father who can answer their unnecessary questions and fulfil their immediate needs. After a shower I return to human form and actually tolerate the presence of others quite well. By school drop off time I am rocking the ‘capable mum’ look. Other parents would have no idea that a few hours earlier I was mustering the strength to begin.

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn, but from 8:40am I am extraordinary (toot-toot). I clean, bake, wash, fold, build Lego, find Lego, re-build Lego, play Lego, mediate fights over Lego, make playdough from scratch, cook, dress-up, wrestle children in and out of cars, carry them around when they lose the ability to use their legs, dance to music I hate, and sing in a range of voices belonging to various personalities. At 2:50pm I pack up the crazy and slip into something a little more socially appropriate, just in time for school pick up. In the evenings, when the kids are finally tucked up in bed, and the sane mums are drinking wine, I work/study/write.

Remember the old saying, there is a time and a place for everything? I’m all over it. During the six years that I worked in media/advertising, not once did I break into song during a meeting. I never challenged a client to a dance-off. I didn’t rap the advertising strategy during presentations (though a few clients would have loved that). Nowadays, I don’t do school drop offs dressed as Darth Vader, swinging my son’s lightsaber at unsuspecting parents. I don’t rush up to other mums and ask if they want to hear me beatbox (can’t promise I never will). Time and place, right?

Writing is the same. Sometimes I write romance and experimental pieces, other times I write hard news, web copy, and essays from a critical political economy perspective. True story. My blog is a safe space for creative output – and sometimes it isn’t pretty. But you can be assured that my lame attempts at snapchat humour, and my ability to write convincing romance, do not inhibit my skills as a copywriter.

To emphasise this point to hubby, this week I used Snapchat to demonstrate my versatility. I wanted to reassure him that I am serious about being taken seriously as a serious writer. He was thrilled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *