The 7 Building Blocks of Writing Motherhood

The tools you will need to reconstruct—and deconstruct—moments of motherhood on paper. Learn how to:
  • Start and fill a Mother's Notebook—two Mother Pages or fifteen minutes a day.
  • Carve out the time and space to write.
  • Master the ABC's—the key practices and principles of Writing Motherhood.
  • Honor two non-writing activities: the Time Out (spent on your own) and the Play Date (spent with friends).

Becoming a Writing Mother

Your guided journey through the Mother's Notebook—in three parts:
  • In the Beginning—Taking Your First Steps explores issues women face when we first become mothers and writers.
  • In the Middle—Finding Your Balance traces the shadowy line women straddle when we find ourselves wedged between growing children and aging parents.
  • Beyond Motherhood—Holding On and Letting Go examines the fears, questions, and possibilities that arise when we mothers begin to redefine ourselves independently of our children.


Daily writing activities—ranging from charting the highs and lows of motherhood to reporting one day in your life as a mother.

Writing Starts

Words, phrases, and lines to jumpstart your writing: On the day you were born... Brown-bag lunches... Fathers... Every chapter includes suggestions for writing starts, and the book ends with a list of ninety-nine writing starts to keep you going for months to come.


Quotes throughout the book from well-known mothers and writers offering additional wisdom and advice.

Writing Mother's Helpers

Tips to help you hone your writing skills. Look for guidance on "the rhythm of writing" and "the weight of words," among other topics.

Sample Mother Pages

Reprinted from the author's notebook and from her students' notebooks as models of how to write about motherhood.

Writing Motherhood for Life

Suggestions for coming out of the Mother's Notebook and connecting with other mothers who write, both in person and online. Learn how to revise pages and submit them for publication. Find guidelines for starting or joining a group of Writing Mothers. Discover how to make Writing Motherhood a way of life.

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