Blogging isn’t something I do often. I use this site mainly to take part in blog tours and lend my support to others…Hell, I haven’t even updated my Twisted graphics and it’s been almost a year since the series began!
I don’t blog because you can see booky stuff on a number of other platforms (and yes, I know I’ve probably got this backwards), and because honestly? My life isn’t nearly thrilling enough to warrant wasting my time writing about it, and your time reading about it.
But today I’m inspired to blog – this thing that, quite frankly, terrifies me – and see what happens, who’s interested in what I’ve got to say, and what you have to say about it. Of course, I invite you to comment on this post; leave your thoughts, tell me your stories, and criticise mine – I don’t mind!
So here goes…
Many of you who follow me on social media know I’m a single mother and the other half of the dynamic duo is Alfie, my four-going-on-eighty-four year old son.
I want to tell you a little bit about our life together, beyond the conversations I post on Facebook because he is the reason why I am the person I’ve become…someone I’m almost proud to be.
I’ve been a single parent for almost two years and let me tell you, it’s not easy. I’m sure any parents reading this will agree that raising a child is the most difficult but rewarding job in the world. I had Alfie young and after many immature mistakes and stumbles as I fumbled my way through the first couple of years of motherhood, I stepped out on my own. I’m honoured I get to raise Alfie how I see fit and make decisions based on my gut instinct alone, knowing that if I believe in something, I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
But there are two sides to every coin…
For all the happiness my son gives me, there is also regret, shame and fear.
I regret that I’m unable to give him the family I ‘ve always had. I regret that I can’t give the siblings he wants or family holidays, a loving family home, or memories that will last a lifetime.
I’m ashamed of the stigma that comes with being a single mother. I’m ashamed that I failed my relationship and, more than that, I’m ashamed that I failed myself for a long time before the breakdown of it.
And I’m afraid. I’m afraid that years from now, I’ll look back and know I could have done things differently. I’ll know I could have given Alfie a better life.
He has saved me more than I care to admit. There are days when he is the only person I speak to and he’s become my rock. One cuddle from him and I remember why I’m doing things the way I am. When I’m fighting back the tears and he joins me on the sofa and suggests we watch a movie, I feel at my lowest. I should be comforting him but instead, he’s the pillar of support that keeps me going.
Why am I telling you this? Because a question I’m often asked is ‘why do you write?‘ and I never fully elaborate on the answer. I do give the usual generic answers of ‘because it’s all I’ve ever known’ or ‘it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and self-publishing platforms allow me to make my dreams come true’, and both of those answers are true – they are reasons why I write – but they’re not the only reasons, and they’re not the most important…not to me at least.
I write to forget that I’m lonely. I write to escape a life where I constantly ask myself when I’m going to fall next. I write to leave responsibility behind – just for a while – and become someone who believes in happy ever afters. I write to distract myself from the things I want but can’t have.
I write because I have stories to tell, and if no one buys them or reads them, or falls in love with every character the way I do, I know I haven’t failed. I completed something; I worked on something tirelessly until it was the best thing my abilities could produce and I told a tale worth telling. I told a story worth reading. I created a world worth living in, from the first page to the last.
I write because I always have. When my grandfather died, I wrote. When I was bullied at school, I wrote. When I got my first boyfriend, I wrote…and I wrote again when that relationship came to a stagnant end.
When the popular kids in school made fun of me because I liked maths and science, and wanted to go to the library at lunchtime, I wrote. When the boy in my Monday afternoon biology class told me I’d never get married and I’d never be happy because nobody could ever love me, he became my first fictional murder victim.
Writing is how I deal with life. It’s how I make sense of the world around me.
I study psychology so I can understand others, and I write so I can understand myself.
But none of it really helps me understand how to be the best mother Alfie deserves.
I write because I want to find a reason to believe in myself.
I write because I finally want to make myself proud, in a world where people are too busy to stop and look at their accomplishments, fortune and consumption aside.
I write because I want to prove to myself, to the little girl who has never felt good enough, that we are good enough.
I write because I want my son to believe in me…and I want him to believe in himself.
I write because I want Alfie to be proud of me…and I want him to be proud of every choice he makes.
I write because I want my son to believe I’m good enough…and I want him to know that he is always good enough.
I write because I refuse to give up. There are days when I don’t sell a single book…but there is never a day when I don’t write, or think about a story.
I write because I want Alfie to know that whatever he wants to do, he can do it. I want him to know that there will be times when the effort far outweighs the reward, but that quitting isn’t an option.
I don’t know if there’s really a message to take from any of this, or if it’s a stream of words soon to be forgotten.
I don’t really know if any of this makes sense or opens a window on me, Becki – the person, the woman, the mother – but I hope that it allows you to think about your life – the things you might regret or the things you’re proud of.
I was inspired to write something here today, when my son wrapped his arms around me and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re my mummy.”
I couldn’t be more proud to have him as my son.
What the future holds, who knows?
But I know I’ll keep writing, and I know Alfie will grow up to become an amazing man.