My mom’s parents lived in Alaska, in a little blue trailer (with a newborn) during the early part of their marriage. That part of their lives always seemed unreal to me because I equate Alaska to some far off hinterland. Today’s Momma-Writer guest, Amanda Bacon, hails from that frozen, forgotten state. Her Instagram feed has made me a little less wary of Alaska and I’m excited for y’all to hear her heart about motherhood and writing.
For more posts like this, check out the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing archives page!
Why do you write/blog?
Thanks so much for inviting me to have a part in this series, Emily.
I write because I love it, and I write because I’m called to it. What started as a young girl writing spinoffs to the books she loved, turned into a young woman who enjoyed writing term papers, turned into a young mom who wrote for sanity’s sake, turned into a woman who writes because God has asked her to encourage the hearts of women.
I thought I was crazy for loving to write when everyone else despised it when I was growing up. But now I see so clearly! It’s been neat to be able to look back and see the hand of God in this process of growing in my writing. I’ve only in the last year been able to eek out the words, “I’m a writer.” But I am, and I’m finally claiming it.
How long have you been writing/blogging?
Well, as mentioned above, I began writing as a girl, but my blogging and writing as ministry began eight years ago when I started my very first blog. Initially, it was an online scrapbook of sorts created to update far away friends and family on the happenings within our family. And I also knew real-life scrapbooking was never going to happen, but I didn’t want to forget the fleeting moments, so I blogged them. As the years marched on, I began to write more intentionally, leaving the family updates for FaceTime, phone calls, and Facebook. And now, that’s all I write. My personal blog has the tagline: Encouraging Words for Everyday Life. I honestly don’t know how to write something that doesn’t seek to encourage. It’s part of my being.
In May of 2014, my dear friend Anne-Renee and I launched The Masterpiece Mom. The blog and podcast seeking to bring hope and encouragement to moms everywhere. I stay pretty busy over there and it’s crazy fun being in ministry with a friend, so my personal blog has been severely neglected since launch day. It’s in my heart to be in both places since I only write mom stuff at The Masterpiece Mom. I love encouraging women in their faith in any season of life, so I’m working to find a good rhythm for posting on both sites.
How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?
Oh, goodness. My current season of life is so intense with 8 kids and homeschooling and ministry and writing, that it can’t not impact it. For years, I’ve hauled my laptop, pens, and notebooks around the house to wherever I was working that was comfortable and quiet. But it’s been hard to find solace in the midst of the realities of my life. Last winter, I had the idea of turning the area on my side of the bed into my own little office space. My nightstand was replaced with a little antique table, and I have shelving above and bins below holding all of my favorite writing and Bible study tools. It’s my little getaway, and I love every chance I get to slip away and use it. Plus, it’s the only place in the house I can sneak away to (except the bathroom) and be able close the door behind me.
How has this season of life changed your writing habits?
I’ve been a mom ever since I started writing seriously, so I’m used to working in the fringe hours of the day. Usually late, late, too late at night. But the more children who join our family through birth or adoption, the more creative I have to be to keep writing. I definitely do my best work in the morning, and I’m working to be disciplined enough to go to bed early so I can rise before the house wakes up.
I always write on the weekends. That’s one thing in my routine you can count on. It’s really the easiest to make happen. My husband Jeremy works his forty-hour work week in four days, so that means he’s home with us for a three-day weekend each week. His schedule makes what I do possible. Even with this schedule, I can’t sit and write all weekend long, so I space out my work in the nooks and crannies during the week too. There’s really no science to it, but it works for now.
What is your writing/blogging battle cry?
Last summer (2013) I was on an airplane headed home from She Speaks, the conference for speakers and writers put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I had my notebook open on my tray table just thinking, praying, and trying to remember things I wanted to be sure to jot down from my time at the conference before I re-entered the atmosphere of my large (and loud) family. As I was contemplating, the Lord brought these words to the forefront of my mind, “You are to make God’s word known.” It felt right, like that’s what all of this writing has been leading up to. I want to make God’s word known. So in the last year, I’ve been diving more into Scripture, teaching myself, so I can in turn teach others. I love using the Bible to round out a message, always pointing us back to Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.
How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?
Of course faith is it’s own separate thing and is the most important aspect of my life, but these three areas are completely intertwined on a daily basis. When I’m mothering, aspects of faith and ideas for writing are always hanging around too.
I jot notes into my phone or iPad when inspiration for writing strikes, because this can’t be predicted and my brain is mush these days and I can’t remember anything anymore. If I don’t write down that brilliant idea I’m “sure” I’ll remember because it’s so good there’s no way I’ll ever forget it as long as I live, it’s gone into the abyss of all the other ideas I’ve lost because I didn’t take time to write them down.
When I’m reading the Bible or praying, mothering and writing are swirling as I read and pray. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so involved in three things all at once before. They’re what make me who I am. Marriage is in there too, of course, but these three are constant in the times I’m home alone with the kids all day. And struggle to stay focused.
Amanda Bacon lives in Alaska and has been married to Jeremy for fifteen years. She is the mother of eight children ages two to thirteen (five by birth, three by adoption.) Amanda blogs and is the co-creator of The Masterpiece Mom, the brand-new blog and podcast bringing hope and encouragement to moms everywhere.