Writing in the margins. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

I hope you all have plans to enjoy family, spend time around the table, and reflect on the faithfulness of our great God this week. 

I am thankful there are women like Ann Swindell, who are choosing to make God know through their words and their actions. I found Ann through her So You Say You’re a Church Lady series. In fact, that series prompted me to start this ongoing Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series! Enjoy, friends, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Motherhood and Writing Ann

Why do you write/blog?

For as long as I can remember, words have been the clearest way that I have connected with Jesus. I meet him, the Word made Flesh, as I string words together–I feel his presence and know his nearness as I write.

Words also help me make sense of my own life; writing forces me to pause, reflect, and consider this life that I am living. I write to parse through the dailiness of life and to attend to the presence of Jesus in those daily realities.

I write for several publications that I love, and much of my writing energy goes there. But blogging enables me to write about things in my life that might not have a clear avenue elsewhere, but that still point me (and hopefully others!) to Christ.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I have been writing for publications for eight years, and blogging only for about six months!

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

This season of my life has proven to be one of the most full so far! I am a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mom of a toddler, a half-time college professor, a pastor’s wife, and a writer. All of these roles require time and energy, but they can’t all hold the same importance in my life. Being a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mom are the “big rocks” in my life–they do (and should) require the most attention, energy, time, and love. But I also have classrooms of students who I lead and teach, women who I disciple, and deadlines for articles. So…sometimes it gets kind of messy! But it means that writing is not at the forefront of my life. If something is going to get postponed, ignored, or declined, it is going to be writing.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

Currently, I write in the margins of my days. I write while my daughter naps, I write after everyone else has gone to bed, and sometimes, I write at the gym instead of working out! Ha! On the days when I teach and have finished all of my grading and prepping, I may have a couple of hours to write while I’m in my office–but I can’t always count on that.

Ann Swindell

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

I write in order to highlight the presence of Jesus in our normal lives. I want to offer a space in which I can point others to Jesus through moments that aren’t exceptional–because most of us feel like we live lives that are pretty “normal” most of the time. I believe that Jesus is always making himself known to us in the mundane realities of our lives, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear him. Writing helps me pay attention to His nearness in my life, and my desire is to help others pay attention to his presence in their lives as well.

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

Jesus is, truly, all that I have. Although I do it haltingly at times, I want him to be at the center of all that I do–caring for my daughter, interacting with my husband, serving my church, teaching my students, meeting with friends, and writing articles and posts. I spend time with him daily, talk about him with family and friends, and write with the goal of loving and glorifying him.

Ann SwindellAnn Swindell is a writer and speaker who is passionate about empowering her generation to say yes to God. She teaches at Wheaton College, writes for publications such as Relevantmagazine.com, Darlingmagazine.org, TodaysChristianWoman.com, and Deeply Rooted. Get to know her more at her blog, http://www.annswindell.com.

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