Adapted from the book

Mothers have depended on other mothers for as long as women have been birthing children, just as writers have sought out other writers since we first put pen to paper. To start, you will probably be content to write on your own, but eventually you may want the support of a community of other mothers. As you begin thinking about joining a group, either in person or online, consider the following eight reasons to write with other mothers:

  1. Community: Both writing and mothering are lonely endeavors. By joining a community of mothers who write, you will connect with women who share your interests and ideals. In a group of Writing Mothers, you will find kindred spirits who speak your language.
  2. Support: In a group, you will be taken seriously as a mother who writes and a writer who mothers; you will not have to explain or excuse your writing. What's more, as you read aloud your Mother Pages, you can trust that the group will listen with compassion and interest.
  3. Structure: Few of us have the confidence or the commitment to write on our own. We need a set time and place to show up to write. As a member of a writing group, you will have not only the structure of the weekly meetings but also the impetus to write on your own, in between meetings. Joining a group of Writing Mothers can make the difference between continuing and quitting.
  4. Craft: Without your knowing it, you will naturally develop your craft as you listen to other mothers read aloud their writing. This is why it is best to welcome members of different styles and abilities. Sometimes you can learn more from the beginning writer, who is unschooled and experimental, than you can from the polished writer who prefers to play it safe.
  5. Courage: As you listen to other mothers take risks and break taboos on paper, you, too will become more honest and more courageous as a writer.
  6. Faith: Already worn down by external pressures and internal criticism, we mothers can easily talk ourselves out of writing. On our own, we quickly lose confidence and conviction. Groups help us keep the faith.
  7. Information:  During readalouds, you will learn from other members both about writing and about mothering. But you may want to set aside a few minutes each week for an information exchange, when members can share news of upcoming events, tips on publishing, and other helpful information. Each member can give freely in her area of expertise.
  8. Cooperation: In a world undermined by one-ups-momship, it is liberating to belong to a circle of mothers in which everyone is on equal footing. A well-run group of Writing Mothers discourages competition and fosters cooperation.

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