I’d been blogging a couple of years before I’d decided to branch out on my own and start Mommy Wants Vodka. I’d spent years carefully (read: badly) coding in the text, well before WordPress rolled out TinyMCE as a feature. My former co-blogger was an actual editor, the kind who got paid to read absurd submissions, so she had lots of time to fix up my terrible typos, misspellings and grammatical inconsistencies into something that resembled a story.

(Damn, I miss her.)

The audience on my previous blog knew me – perhaps not well – but well enough to have hung with me a few times over the years, which meant I was expected to produce material about a) my vagina b) my vagina or c) dick jokes. That’s what happens when you write yourself into a niche.

After Alex was born, things changed. I wanted to write about the way he’d not allow me to put him down – even for a moment – without launching into a full-blown meltdown. About how tired I was. How lonely things had gotten with a husband who worked 80 hours on a good week, while my friends, waiting to have kids, climbed their career ladders. I had cracked nipples and they had 401K’s.

So I wrote it out. I wrote hard.

I wrote whatever was on my mind at the moment I opened up the blank WordPress screen, never expecting that other people would read it.

I tried to imagine someone – one person – out their reading my now-completely jumbled words, riddled with the sort of grammatical errors that make an English want to use red pen on their computer screen. Someone besides lovely “people” trying to sell me Viagra or increase the size of my member. Right kind of them, thinking of my member that way. I never could quite imagine that. An audience? Me. Nah. I’m a crappy writer. A scientist. Not a writer. Never a writer.

I didn’t expect an audience. And quite frankly? I didn’t so much care. I wrote because I wanted to, not because I expected to become rich, famous, or fancy – being “Internet Famous” is like being the coolest kid at the nerd table.

(I heart nerds)

Blog posts are a snapshot of a moment captured in words – good or bad, depending upon the reader and the writer – and if I’d captured every moment, I’d never have had the time to raise my kids. Or pee, for that instance… Although a poem about peeing with a cranky infant strapped to my nipple could’ve been awesome.

In fact, if I’d written everything down that first year, it’d have been: “OMG WHAT AM I DOING, I CAN’T SEE STRAIGHT, WALKING INTO WALLS, BLAHHHH, SO SLEEPY, SLEEPY SLEEPY SLEEPY SLEEEEEPY. Where’s my coffee?

Instead I took those moments, twisted them into something better, and went with it. Sometimes, I was happy with what I’d written, other times, I knew it was a glistening pile of dogshit, but I didn’t care. There were no “metrics,” no “monetization,” no “Facebook likes,” to judge the words I’d put in order on the screen as “worthy” or “unworthy.”

I miss those days.

Since I began this silly blog, I’ve hurt people. I’ve ruined friendships and I’ve ruined relationships. You might say they’d been ruined (or on the verge of) already – which would be true – but through no honest ill-will on my end, it’s forced those relationships into the outbox.

I’m sorry for that. Genuinely. I’d never wanted to hurt anyone.

Once I opened up about my divorce to you guys – a situation that had been building for so long, something I’d kept quiet for well over a year, things got real for me. My life turned upside down, shit rained down like that pink goo in Ghostbusters II (except in Chicago). It wasn’t pretty. And? I didn’t even get to see Slimer OR the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, those wily bastards.

I’d say that I was sorry for sharing my struggles with you, for being vulnerable, for asking for help when I needed it, except that I’m not.

Because for all the gossip and idle chatter; for all of the people who decided to pick sides and point their fingers, looking for someone to blame (divorce, like marriage, takes two to tango), I found a few people found comfort in my words. They understood what I meant, were in the middle of similar situations, or offered the one thing I’d needed: love.

And that’s all I need to remind me to keep going. To write hard. To ignore the naysayers inside my head and out. Because it all matters. And I can’t quit in a whiny pile of goo just because shit got real – I won’t.

If you’re out there, reading these words I’ve hastily strung together to form lackluster sentences, know that you’ve touched my life. It’s because of you that I’m still standing, walking around upright, and not huddled in a corner, weeping. MOST OF THE TIME.

No amount of comments,; no amount of subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook likes can hold a candle to that.

Or this.

write hard

It all – all of it – matters.

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. You should leave (or at least THINK about leaving) a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

39 Responses to Write Hard

  • Angie R
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    w00t w00t w00t! You keep changing the world, AB!

    Lots of folks <3 you, girl. :)

  • BakingSuit
    Twitter: bakingsuit
    says:

    I have no doubt that you are and will continue to change the world. And for the better.

    Keep writing hard.

    HUGS

  • ArykaNotErika says:

    You ALWAYS write hard and without apology my friend. And as for any naysayers, to use the technical term, fuck em, haters gonna hate. I love you hard.

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    Yes! This is what I love – you writing hard. This is what it is all about.

    Nothing but love, my friend.

  • Kathleen says:

    AB, you matter. A lot. There have been days when I could barely pull myself out of bed, and I still stalk you in cyberspace. If I was in Chicago, you’d probably find me on your doorstep. I’ve noticed that you’re writing a lot more lately. I know you do it for you, but you also do it for me, and lots of other folks like me. You remind me to look for my daily “3 good things” – stuff as simple as my glittery stuffed dragon, birdsong, frog songs at night. You’ve given me a forum (Band Back Together) to share my stories. You’ve tossed glitter at me when I wanted to cry. And you gave me the privilege of being able to help a little when you needed it. You’ve given me the strength to “rely on the kindness of strangers”. You’ve also reminded me that a short attention span is not necessarily a bad…oooh butterflies! And that’s just for starters. Massive love to you!

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I originally found you because you were on a list of the 10 funniest people to follow on twitter; I love you because you’re uniquely you. I love you when you’re funny, I love you when you’re angry, I love you when you’re sad. I love you hard. So please write hard, so I can continue to get to know you more and love you more.

  • @ComedyNinja says:
  • Jolie says:

    Everyone subjects themselves to the scrutiny of those who notice them. The best can ignore the worst critics. You keep being you, hanging it all out there, and know that no matter what you do, those who love you will continue to love you, and those who don’t, can go pound sand. I love to read your posts, and as long as you write, I will read. We are not alone girl. We gots each other! :)

  • alexis (You can call me Al)
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    I’m very glad you have the perspective not to regret sharing in the way you did, because in sharing your own story, you helped so many of the rest of us muddle through our own sad little lives.

  • ColdBlooded
    Twitter: byrnealaina
    says:

    Being an adult sucks. Write hard = live hard. Keep on pushin’ on.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Dang. You have more guts than I ever have shown. You might be the only person I’ve ever ‘met’ with glittery-purple guts. I mean, your guts must spew rainbow unicorn glitter, right?

    As I struggle through my own pile of shit, I remember that at least some of it might have glitter, and then I have an excuse for being all ‘shiny!” in the middle of a shitstorm.

    You rock. I don’t care who did what to who, I just know that you have held me together with your writing, and that’s something special.

  • You go, girl. And? I’m still here. You haven’t pissed me off.

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    Have you stumbled across Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and shame? I think you would find her stuff interesting and your posts validate one of her main points. To receive authentic love we must make ourselves vulnerable. That’s a huge risk but the payoff is also huge. Your story is proof that she’s right on point.

  • Love and hugs Aunt Becky!

  • Sarah K. (The Mama Pirate)
    Twitter: themamapirate
    says:

    I don’t comment often. Honestly, because I feel like they get lost in the shuffle since you are so popular. Which is cool, I’m just saying.

    But I do read your blog and always think about what you write and even in the midst of your divorce and pain and everything, I’m thinking about you. I’m thinking good thoughts for you.

    Please remember that even though there are some baddies out there, choosing sides, name calling, or whatever, there are tons of good people who like and support you even though we may not always say it. We’re here so keep writing it all out lady.

  • Grace says:

    Love you so much, my dear!

  • Keep writing, Aunt Becky. Keep writing hard. Love.

  • Joules says:

    The internet is awesome. It’s a big, bouncy playhouse to jump around in, to learn from and find your tribe in. It also brings out the nasty, the closet bullies, the inner mean girl.

    What you’re doing is changing the world. Like, for the better. And you’ve been doing it without the vindication. But I bet that tastes pretty damn good too. Savor it.

  • Delfin Joaquin Paris III
    Twitter: tfpHumorBlog
    says:

    Being honest is the hardest, yet most important thing a writer can do. Keep doing it.

  • Abigail
    Twitter: skywaitress
    says:

    As I was reading this I had the sinking feeling I was reading a “I’m quitting the blogging” post. I’m so glad I was wrong.

    I’m so glad that you aren’t letting the gossip and rumors keep you down. Don’t ever stop writing. You’re amazing.

  • Devan says:

    You know, for every single “OMG, I LOVES YOU AB!” comment, there are like eleventy-hundred-five other people that read and think the same thing but just don’t comment. My point? Multiply the love that comes at you in your comments by about 100!! Trust me, us non-bloggers love hard from afar, but still we love! You are full of the awesome, and you could never piss me off! You got this girl, please keep writing hard, cause you damn good at it!
    Devan

  • Katherine says:

    The worst thing I ever did was worry about what people on the outside of my situation thought. Because I was doing that I married a msn I shouldn’t have, then stayed trapped with him too long. The hardest and best choice was going it alone. You CAN do this. The waiting is torture and for the first month in your new apartment you’ll feel like shit, and you’ll panic. You’ll think you can’t do it, but you can. And once you’re past that month everything will be on the up. I promise.xx

  • E3Writing
    Twitter: e3writing
    says:

    I’m an actual editor as well, should you or BB2G need some help on that front!

    http://www.e3writing.com/

  • MustangGina says:

    You keep doing what you do! I lubs ya hard! If I lived in Chicago or you REALLY got bored and moved to SC, we’d have to hang out! Let the haters hate. SCREW ‘EM! Remember, keep your friends close…and your enemies in the trunk! LOL!

  • roxie says:

    Keep your head up, and don’t let the bastards get you down. Honey-vodka and iced tea all around!

  • “write hard…ignore…naysayers inside my head and out…can’t quit in a whiny pile of goo just because shit got real” http://t.co/t1pvx6fj

  • Lorie says:

    Keep writing. Get those feelings out! If people can’t take you through the bad times, then they don’t deserve you through the good times.

  • Synnove
    Twitter: dontchew
    says:

    You are one tough cookie… and I like it. :)

  • leanne says:

    Love you, Becky!

  • Lucy Ball
    Twitter: LucyBall15
    says:

    I just found your blog a couple of months ago. I’m really glad I did. And about the writing part – you’re amazing. I’m a writing teacher. What makes great writing isn’t only the mechanics…it’s the voice that makes it great. Your voice is beautiful. ;-)

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