When spare moments become stare moments. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

When Jessiqua Wittman first joined the Kindred Grace contributor team, I would have never guessed she wrote self-proclaimed gritty fiction novels. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her better through her writing and I think you will enjoy getting to know her better too! She’s jumping into the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series this week.

If you missed a week, check out the series’ archives.

Motherhood and Writing JessiquaWhy do you write/blog?

I write because certain topics and stories burn inside me. I blog because most people like bite-size pieces of writing more than the 1,000 page novels that come naturally to me.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been writing for nearly ten years. I’ve been blogging for about three and a half years.

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

Considering that I have a nearly five-year-old, a newly three-year-old, and a baby due any day… (Jessiqua had her sweet baby between writing this and it going live!) I don’t write or blog near as much as I used to. It takes time and focus to write something special, and lately it’s been hard to find both time and focus in the same breath!

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

When I was a teenager, I used to sit with my notepad and write during every spare moment. Nowadays, I find myself just sitting and enjoying time with my little ones. Spare moments have become stare moments, where I just stare off into space and dream. After the kids go to bed though, I gather up all those dreamy visions and start typing them on my laptop. My personal bedtime is at eleven-o-clock, so I have until then to record as much as possible.

Perspectives Jessiqua

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

My message usually revolves around the imperfections of humanity and the gritty love of God. Christians oftentimes don’t feel free to express the struggles that they have during the winter seasons of their faith. I like encouraging honesty in those areas so that freedom, grace and strength can be found.

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

Well, for one thing, it’s not unusual for my laptop keyboard to be a wee bit sticky from kiddo fingerprints. :) Also, my kids simultaneously push me to my patience limit and teach me about the gloriously simple beauties of everyday life. Their innocence is inspiring to me, and their moods reflect my own and convict me. I may not be able to write as much as I used to, but I’m thankful for the deeply thoughtful moments that I’m able to have in between potty training and ginormous hugs.

JessiquaJessiqua Wittman is a child of God, a happy wife and mother, and a dedicated author of gritty fiction novels.

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Editing, ain’t nobody got time for that. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

Crystal Stine is someone I’ve admire from afar and I’m so pleased that she agreed to participate in this series. I appreciate her thoughts on efficiency and leaving a legacy with our words.

This Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series has been a major encouragement to me and has had a great response from other readers. I Perspectives coming to you every Tuesday through December, but I’d love to keep this series going as long as momma writers want to share. If you’d like to share your perspective or know someone whose perspective should be shared, shoot me an email (emgardner8@gmail.com)!

To catch up on previous Motherhood and Writing posts, head to the Archives page!

Motherhood and Writing Crystal

Why do you write/blog?

I write to encourage, inspire and equip women to find, build and stay in community. I also write to share about the things I love that I think my community will love – from products to causes, real life family moments and everything in between!

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve had a passion for writing since the 7th grade, when my Language Arts teacher put a note on a project that said “You’re very good. Would you like to write for the school newspaper?” I haven’t looked back since :) {the official answer is “2009” for when my blog started though…I’m older than the internet, otherwise I totally would have had one in 7th grade}

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

Right now my current season of life includes working full time from home, some travel, and raising a toddler with my husband. It’s glorious and ordinary and I find myself writing in the “in between” times, usually late at night in front of the TV while watching Project Runway. What I write about and where I write are more intentional as I see the impact my words have on the legacy I leave my daughter.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I’ve become much more efficient, using tools like PicMonkey & Canva to create blog post images that will work across all my social media platforms. I use tools like BufferApp to schedule blog promotion, and when I write late at night there is very little editing that happens before I hit “publish.” I don’t plan much in advance because I seem to write the best, most authentic pieces right when God puts them on my heart.

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

No one can do it all – but we can all do something. Whether it’s a season to step back and focus on motherhood or to jump in and try something new with blogging, our goal should never be to do ALL the things, but to seek God and where He wants our attention.

Perspectives Crystal

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

God has given me a daughter to be my mirror. Not only is she my mini-me physically, she reflects back to me the good, the bad, and the ugly of who I am in this season. God uses her to refine my heart, and I use writing to process what He’s doing in my life, to encourage other women but also to leave a written legacy for my daughter.

Crystal StineCrystal is passionate about living authentically in the beautiful, messy, unfinished parts of life. She encourages women daily as the Editorial & Marketing Manager at (in)courage and through her writing.

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It’s not like I’m writing the Bible. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

Today’s Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing guest is Shannon Coe, another of my fellow Kindred Grace contributors. Her maturity is inspiring and convicting. (Plus, she made me laugh!)

Catch up on previous posts in this series on the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing archives page!

Motherhood and Writing Shannon

Why do you write/blog?

I started writing to leave somewhat of a gift to my sons. They didn’t know the full story of the miracle of our family and if I didn’t write it down, it would be lost to them. It kind of morphed into more when my story touched so many lives, in so many different ways. For me, it is a connection to others and a way to share things in my heart that I normally do not express in person.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been writing for three years. I wrote anonymously for the first year, then added my name and started sharing my blog with others after that.

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

Not the way I thought it would. I have more writing time than I would have had if I wrote when my children were little, but I need so much ‘runway’ time to get flying with words. I don’t know if that’s age or if I have ADHD and never knew it because- children. And I have a hard time with the quiet. I wish I had been gifted with this purpose when my sons were little. I would have enjoyed writing during that time. But God picked this time and I am learning to write in this quieter season. But it’s not all that young mom’s dream of. At least not for me.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I am getting up at 4-5am to get some serious writing done or staying up way late into the night. I think that is what the young moms have to do as well. I gave the years I would have thought to be a perfect season for writing to starting a business. I won’t second guess God on that.

And seasons can be extremely short. Like on the planets that have really short orbits. They don’t necessarily mean years. My seasons are changing quite rapidly. I am adapting by not panicking and by not putting pressure to perform on myself. If writing is a gift, and for heaven’s sake it’s not like I am writing the Bible, then this gift will perfect itself and be used for the Kingdom of God. I won’t trade writing for time with my family. But I will trade it for household chores. That’s fair. :-)

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

I want women to know their calling is great. They aren’t second in the work for God. They are incredibly strong and they are some of the stealthiest and fiercest warriors on the battlefield. I want to rally the weak and wounded. I would gather all those who don’t fit in and pull them close to me and say, “Let’s go to war, sister.” I want to help them fight for their families and build the Kingdom of God.

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

Oh, such a fascinating thought and question. If we could pull these three things together for women: their faith, words (written or read) and motherhood, you’d have the most threatening warrior for God.

I think of motherhood, and for me, this is what makes me rise up when I want to stay fallen. My faith makes me believe that I need to keep fighting. And my writing needs to help others. I live in battlefield imagery (the consequences of raising four sons?) and when I see these three things come together in a woman, she is pretty powerful and I haven’t met her equal.

shannon coeShannon Coe is a speaker and writer who loves to tend to women and care for their spirit. She wants to kneel beside the weary and help them look up to the hills where their Help comes from. She never plans on retiring, and if people will listen and read, she will keep sharing how God can redeem, restore, and use women to do a mighty work for God.

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When the words get knocked out of you. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

It’s Tuesday! And that means the next installment in the ongoing Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series. Chantel Brankshire and I both write for Kindred Grace and I’m excited to have her on the blog today.

Peruse previous posts in this series on the archives page!

Motherhood and Writing Chantel

Why do you write/blog?

Writing, for me, is how my heart processes. It’s my “language”. I write to remember where I’ve been, to encourage others, and to give honor to God for the great things He has done in my life.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

Well, I’ve been writing since I was six. I started my first blog over 10 years ago, though. It’s been quite the adventure.

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

For a long time, I felt like I had the words knocked out of me. Not because of motherhood, necessarily, but because the sum of what was going on in my life was either so incredibly special, I didn’t know how to share it, or so painful and private for some of my family that I couldn’t talk about it. I felt like I lost my focus, and so…I just didn’t really write anything for a very long time. Recently, the words have come back again. It’s a good feeling.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I am not only a mother, a stay at home wife, and homemaker…but I also have my own business as a Virtual Assistant, working from home. I love what I do, but I’ll be very honest that between work, home duties, and keeping little hands busy and out of trouble, writing just doesn’t happen often. I have so many ideas, but little time or chance to get them out in a draft or onto a piece of paper. Unlike before, I don’t just finish my to-dos for the day and have a free hour or two to write.

For now, I just take each opportunity as it comes. If I have a good idea, I use my phone to jot down some notes for later. If I have an unexpected 20 minutes, and am not too tired to string words together sensibly, I go for it.

I’m learning, for me, that sometimes it’s more to just write than to have it just right before I hit publish.

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

I want to communicative joy, hope, and contentment in ordinary days. I want to encourage people to look for beauty in little things, and to realize the power of gratitude in their lives. I want them to see my life, not as perfect, but as crazy, but made beautiful by His grace.

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

I write because it’s in my blood. I write because I feel like God gave me words as a means of reaching and touching in ways I would never have an opportunity to do. Motherhood comes first, but I believe that in this new season of learning, just like every other season, there are a lot of things that can and should be written as I find my fears magnified, my patience tested, and my need for God even more real than ever before!

Chantel BrankshireChantel Brankshire is wife to her sweetheart, Scott and mommy to Charlotte. She loves words, barefoot summer days, growing a garden, and old books. She works from home as a Virtual Assistant and loves on her family as much as possible.

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Taking a back seat. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

We’re continuing the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing guest post series with Jennifer Jackson Linck. Join me in welcoming her to the blog! If you missed a week, check out the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing Archives page. 

Motherhood and Writing Jennifer

Why do you write/blog?

I am a writer at heart! I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I can’t not write. :)
However, the purpose of my blog is to bring hope to first-time mothers who aren’t quiet sure what they’ve gotten themselves in to.

I write about faith, motherhood, and adoption for the most part. Writing is my way to connect with God and share His love with others.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been blogging since early 2010. I started blogging when we decided to adopt. It was my way of processing infertility and the crazy journey of adoption, while keeping others in the loop of our journey. Now I blog more to encourage others struggling with infertility, pursuing adoption or trying to figure this motherhood thing out.

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

I am learning so much as a mother and it makes for good blog material. I get most of my ideas from the lessons God is teaching me through my toddler. I try really hard to be transparent and real on my blog. To let my readers know that motherhood is hard and it’s okay to have bad days. I never want anyone to read my blog and think I’m perfect – I’m far from it. But because of God’s grace, I’m able to start over and be the best mom I can be to Jackson.

I’ve also realized in the past year or so that I need to be more intentional and present with my son. Blogging can wait. Jackson won’t be this age forever. That’s why I have taken a step back from the blog this summer and have started blogging only when I feel like it. I was following a blog calendar/schedule and writing three times a week. I realized I needed a break. This break has left me room to have fun with my son and make memories that I will always cherish. I’m finding when I do write it’s better and I’m doing it because I want to, not because I have to.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

Sometimes it’s a real challenge to balance blogging and motherhood. These days I write in-between dishes and dirty diapers. I usually write on the days Jackson is at Mother’s Day Out. Like I said earlier, blogging/writing has taken a back seat this summer and I’m trying to be more intentional with my son. There are many nights I write after Jackson goes to bed. I also find that I start blog posts in the notes section of my phone and finish them when I have more time to devote to it.

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

My blog exists to bring hope to first-time mother’s who aren’t quiet sure what they’ve gotten themselves into. I write to encourage women struggling with infertility and those who are traveling the long and expensive road to adoption.

I pray my words bring other’s closer to Jesus. I pray I am always transparent and real. I pray our story will always bring Him glory!

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

Writing has always been a way to share my faith. It’s the God-given talent I was born with and I believe I am to use it for God’s glory. Motherhood offers a lot of writing material and has also shown me how desperately I need Jesus. Motherhood is a refining process to make me more like Him.

“I’ve never loved so fiercely, been frustrated so easily, or needed Jesus so desperately.” (Quote from my ebook Trucks, Tantrums, & Trusting Him: Confessions of a Boy Mom)

Jennifer Jackson LinckJennifer loves to share how God answered her heart’s cry to be a mother and is passionate about adoption, orphan care, and encouraging others who are struggling with infertility.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Jennifer received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and spent several years working as a reporter for The Oklahoman. She’s the author of Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family and the ebook Trucks, Tantrums, & Trusting Him: Confessions of a Boy MomJennifer lives in Oklahoma with her husband, John, and their son Jackson.

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