Last night (well, about a year ago of last nights by now), a friend shared a link to photographer Ali Smith's latest project, Momma Love, on my Facebook wall with a note saying, "Saw this and thought of you." While grateful to be aware of such a cool bit of self-published work (that will hopefully and probably get picked up by a publisher or investor), this and other books such as Spending the Holidays with People You Want to Punch in the Throat and I Just Want to Pee Alone, which are written by or feature writing by "fellow" bloggers whose work I have been following for the past few years also serve to make me feel ridiculously "left out."
When I started this blog after my daughter was born, there weren't all that many "mom blogs" out there in cyberspace, or if there were, nobody really knew about them. Then, on June 10, 2010, "Why Having a Toddler is Like Being at a Frat Party" went viral, followed by a deluge of really witty, sarcastic, and frank writers whose blog posts were flooding the internet. I tried to keep up for a while. I followed the advice to sit down and write something every day, to aim to post something new every week. I had dreams that one day something I wrote would go viral, and that suddenly I'd be the next big mom blog. My blog would be featured in articles like "Top 100 Mom Blogs" and Slate magazine would be calling to ask me to write a column, and then Salon would want me to write for them, and then who knows who would be calling. People would follow Ubiquitous Mom on Twitter and I'd create a Ubiquitous Mom Facebook page. That shit would be trademarked, yo. I'd be so prolific, I'd have to publish my essays in a book, maybe even write a "momoir" or heck, a memoir. Maybe I wouldn't get rich off my writing, but I'd be heard. Well, seen. And I'd be wrapped in a warm, fuzzy blanket called Validation.
I'm a full time teacher, though, so writing every day got subsumed by the need to grade writing every day, and then this happened. My kids needed me, my husband needed me, my students needed me, my friends needed me. I needed exercise, and sleep. My blog evaporated. What sprinkles existed weren't enough to keep the water flowing. The puddles dried up. The well went dry. I couldn't, or wouldn't, or just didn't make time to write. I squeezed out a few things here and there, but the habit didn't stick. I started posts that never got finished, with great titles like "Narrowly Avoiding Death by Minivan" that I will now have to rename (we ended up with the minivan after all).
But the urge to share my thoughts with the world (albeit the very small world who still follows this blog or is forced to read it because I shamelessly self-promote what is probably very bad writing) constantly threatens to break the dam that has been containing all my ideas (I think this metaphor has been beaten to the ground by now), so here's something to bridge the gap (yep, still working the dead metaphor). Maybe my next idea will be as good as this one was.