At the moment my life feels like it’s all about book writing and self focus. I know this little space has been quiet of late. I’m missing it. It’s hard not blogging as regularly as I once did. I have that home sicky kind of feeling about it. Everything feels like it’s on hold while I’m trying to get this book done and dusted. My veggie garden has some alliums and a punnets worth of broccoli planted. That’s it! The southern bank is full to the brim with weeds, again. There’s so much to be done outside and I feel that overwhelmed panic in my chest every time I pull into my driveway and notice all of the work that I can’t get to right now. But, I’ve been talking long enough about writing books and this year felt like the perfect time to go ahead and finish what I started. So, I’ve been bunkering down this cosy winter trying to get my unschooling ebooks finished. And obviously there have been lots and lots of hot drinks on the ready.
Funnily enough, the book I’ve almost finished is not the one I had started. The one I’m on right now is more of an autobiography style book about my life and how circumstances lead me to unschooling Lew. It feels a bit self indulgent and weird to be writing purely about myself and I don’t feel all that confident about promoting it, particularly amongst my friends and family. But it’s a bit of a prequel to the unschooling book I’m already half way through and so I thought I’d write it first, instead.
Always in the back of my mind is this feeling that blogs and ebooks and writing about yourself and your little tiny life existence is a self indulgent act and a first world kind of phenomenon. A friend taught me recently what TMI means. Do you know? You probably do. I’m probably the only person who didn’t know. But just incase you are a little slow like me, it means Too Much Information. Is that what we’ve become? A society that is self focused and over shares about menial, nothing things? Hmmmm. It’s never fully sat right with me and I’ve often been left with this funny lack of surety about the whole online story telling/sharing your life movement.
But …. and this is why I continue doing it…. I also feel this need to share. Bizarre, really. I’ll try and explain it.
This blog ends up feeling like a happy space and a get away space for me after writing in it. It helps me see the loveliness in my life, which is a miniscule glimpse into my life as a whole, of course, but the loveliness is there, here.
Another reason I share in this way is because this blog began it’s life as a record of Lew’s unschooling journey. I wanted to write the story of it, his unschooling life that is, and what made me make the whacky decision to go against the grain of society and choose the educational road less travelled for my child.
And the reason that I wanted to share Lew’s life so much is because my mum died when I was only 18 and I feel like so much was lost, for me, in terms of her stories and her memories of our childhood. I didn’t get to ask her the things that I’d love to know now. You don’t realise what it is that you want to know from your mum while you’re a child. Well I didn’t at least. It wasn’t until she died that I realised it.The thoughts that she had while she was pregnant with me, her first child. Her thoughts on parenting. Her stresses. The intimate parts of our childhood stories put into her words and seen from her perspective.
At a similar time to mum dying, many of my childhood mementos were accidently thrown away, which is something I struggle to even think about now. Once I realised that those stories and mementos were never to be heard, recorded or touched again I felt a longing to get some of it back somehow, some way. That time came when I first found out I was pregnant and that I would soon be a mum myself. And make up for those losses I most definitely did. Every moment of pregnancy and Lew’s early childhood, I recorded in journals and stored in plastic boxes, safe from pesky rodents and the weather and people who may mistake them for rubbish and send them off to the tip! All of those firsts mementos: pregnancy positive test result strip thingy, Lew’s first hair cut hair, every single lost tooth, first dummy, first sandals, first boots, first body suit, a sample of every piece of wrapping paper given to him via presents for his first birthday, boxes of drawings and paintings ….oh and so much more. Pretty much the firsts of everything and lots in between. And this blog. Possibly I’ve gone over the top with the recording and collecting and storing but it feels like I’ve fulfilled something within me that seems to make up, at least in part, for my own losses. And I know that Lew appreciates these things, perhaps not as much as he will when he becomes a dad for the first time, but there’s appreciation there nonetheless.
And the final reason I continue to share my life online is because of this burning desire that I have now to help someone else in a similar situation. I would love to think that through me sharing my unschooling story as a parent and sharing some of Lew’s life as an unschooling child, that I could help and encourage others embarking on their own unschooling journey. If my sharing and blog and writing these books helps families to feel more confident and able to unschool their children, then it will have all been worth it for me.
And that’s why I’m working on book writing and self focus right now.
So, I hope you’ll excuse my self indulgent behaviour that will need to come with the promotion of my ebooks in the near future. I’m nervous about it because I really don’t love self promotion and self-selling. It’s not part of my nature and it doesn’t sit well and I fear judgment and the label of being self righteous. But I’m going to need to learn how to do it and I’m hoping that I won’t come across as …well, wanky. I probably shouldn’t be talking this stuff because it’s just my raw, insecure self overly sharing but I do really want you to know that I’m struggling with the self focused bit. Somehow that relieves my worries about doing it, knowing you know that I know.
I hope you’ll buy my book. Just kidding. Well not really kidding. Yeh, kidding. Eek!