Motherhood is Not a Niche Topic: Writing Mother and Child with Anne Liu Kellor

Posted Thu, 9/19/2019 - 9:50am by  |  Category: ,

As a mother, I know how hard it is to find time to write.

In the early years, it was all I could manage to scribble out a short journal entry in a 10-minute burst while someone else held the baby. Eventually I began making a mad one-hour dash to a nearby café to spew out blog entries every few weeks. 

But despite having way less time to myself, the demands of motherhood also forced me to stop being such a perfectionist; I finally started sharing more of my work before editing it to death. And becoming a mother taught me, all over again, how much I needed to write. It was a life force for me. A non-negotiable need. 

Inevitably, however, being a mother-writer also means you write less. Often you are forced to take long hiatuses when things get too hectic or sleep-deprived. But through it all, the thread of wanting to document and reflect and be heard remains. 

Whether you have long considered yourself a writer or are still learning to listen to that call from within, this workshop is for you. Together we will write from in-class prompts about the sacred and the mundane—whatever arises, no judgment, no hierarchy of ‘good or bad writing.’ The piss, shit, blood, tears, milk, wine, meds, foods? Bring it. The struggles, triumphs, fears, joys: all experiences are welcome. 

We will also tap into questions like: how did our own childhood shape us and inform us as mothers? What patterns are we repeating or trying to undo? And how has motherhood changed our understanding of ourselves, our legacy, and our purpose? Whether you gave birth one year or fifty years ago, motherhood connects us with undeniable pulse of shared passion and knowing.

People often joke about how if men gave birth, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. And yet, our world is still filled with so many more war stories than it is birth stories. Or ‘out in the world’ stories versus ‘in the body’ stories. Maybe that’s because women and mothers are so incredibly busy, tasked with so much more caretaking and unpaid emotional labor, that we don’t often have the support to give enough to our creative selves. 

Give yourself that time now. Pregnant women and grandmothers are welcome too—we are all a part of this mothering legacy. 

You’ll emerge from these six weeks with an intimate and supportive community, with pages full of free-writes responding to innovative prompts, as well as with extensive feedback on a work-in-progress and publishing resources for those who are at that stage. Let me know if you have any questions. Come let your voice be heard.

Join me in Writing Mother and Child on Sundays, October 6–November 10, 2019, from 1–4 pm.

Anne Liu Kellor is a multiracial Chinese American writer, teacher, editor, and coach. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as LongreadsThe New England ReviewThe Normal SchoolFourth GenreVela Magazine, and Literary Mama, and her manuscript, Heart Radical, was selected by Cheryl Strayed as 1st runner-up in Kore Press’s 2018 memoir contest. Anne has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, 4Culture, and Jack Straw.