about motherhood, and how to write. Claire Vaye Watkins helps me sort it out.
But I do see a lot of newly mothered women who are writing in a much more fragmented, impressionistic, lyrical, language-driven way. For me, when I’m breastfeeding, I can’t think of a 300-page narrative arc and, also, I don’t see the world like that anymore. When I’m waking up every 90 minutes, the world becomes a really fragmented, dream-like, lyrical place, so that aesthetic doesn’t really apply. If I were going to try to write a book like that now, it would be a lie.
It’s also this all or nothing thing. It’s an extreme binary—I did it bit earlier myself—between men’s writing or women’s writing; between narrative-driven epic novels and smaller, more fragmented, domestic pieces. Or when I evaluate my own work, I still ask, “Is this art or is this a mom blog?” It would be wonderful if our kids came up in a world where mom blogs were art if they were fucking good enough—if that was the only criteria they had.
Watch me wrestle with this question, and why it even has to be this way: “Is this art or is this a mom blog?”