How I Met My Writing Mother

Devon of SynDolly fame has organized a blogging party today to celebrate the birthday of a woman so many of us adore. So I figured I would write a little bit about how I met my writing mother.

Toward the end of last year a Facebook friend shared a blog post from a woman telling the world that she is an American Muslim. In the wake of the shootings in Bakersfield and Paris, anti-Muslim hatred was especially intense. Yet here she was telling the world her truth, that she was the daughter of immigrants who had fled war. I was awestruck at this woman’s courage.

This led me to talking with the writer of that post. I was still quite new to blogging, but she was so helpful. She invited me to a group for bloggers and even encouraged me to submit to her online magazine. Soon after I wrote her a poem that became my first post published outside my blog as well as my first professional writing work. I never write poetry (and haven’t since), but the experience has been inspirational.

That brave lady told me to try out different styles of writing and branch out into fiction. The idea sounded crazy to me. I gave up fiction writing years ago and had no interest in returning. A little later I caught the flash fiction bug and am now working on at least one longer fiction work. It’s like she knew my writing better than I did.

The group I mentioned is LinkYourLife Connection, and the magazine is what we all know and love as Open Thought Vortex. Both were co-founded by my writing mother Shareen Mansfield (along with my other writing mother Shawna Ayoub Ainsle).

I’ve written about my love for LinkYourLife before, but I don’t think I can ever write enough. This is more than a promotional group for blogs. We support and encourage each other. The admins host threads inviting us to get acquainted with one another, seek advice, all kinds of fun stuff. It is my first stop when I’m catching up on blog reading (which is a constant endeavor).

I started blogging as a way to help develop my voice as I worked on writing my memoir. I figured it would be something I did for a while during that pursuit and then probably phase it out. Now I can’t imagine life without blogging, and my memoir is no better than my third writing priority. That’s not because I’ve lost interest in it. It’s because one incredible lady opened up my writing world.

I used to have a clear plan for writing, but now it’s all fuzzy (wonderfully so). One thing is certain, though, and that is I am a much better (and constantly improving) writer. I doubt any of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t clicked on that blog post, or if that brave lady hadn’t written it.

This post isn’t what it could or should be. I’m writing it at the last minute and haven’t spent hours obsessing over it like I normally would. That’s because I’m busy working on several other things because my writing mother has me so inspired and motivated. So go wish her a happy birthday.



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