Will you read this if I write it? Will you even know what I mean?

During my undergraduate writing program, which I began haphazardly because I knew it was a degree I could finish, I struggled with the concept of art as a both a part of and separate from religion. I became obsessed with the idea of beauty, specifically the idea that beauty could save the world, as the author Gregory Wolfe proposes in his book of the same name. As an undergraduate student in a private Christian school, this concept seemed revolutionary, especially the idea that all art has intrinsic value beyond being something simply perceived as sacred or profane.

As a student in Goddard College’s MFA in creative writing program, I have been touched by the schools philosophy of religion being any activity which is pursued on behalf of an ideal end of universal worth. I wonder if art is true religion in this sense. Writers and artists create culture. They are intimately involved in the evolution of storytelling and communication. They are intimately involved in language building. I am an artist and a storyteller, and now, I believe that all the work I do in my lifetime is intrinsically sacred because it contributes to the evolution of my society and culture.

I have just finished reading two articles that reflect on the recent changes in Medium. I am very new to Medium, but I am excited that companies are out there trying to change the way we communicate. Perhaps as platforms like Medium put ideas and art into the hands of ordinary people they will shift the influence our marketing culture has on what we see and read. At least, I hope so. As an emerging writer, the opportunity to be a part of Medium’s partnership program seems groundbreaking because it puts value to something as simple as writing that another person enjoys reading.

The people who promote art as a worthy investment of our time and money in this way get it — art changes things. Am I naive in thinking that art can change the world?

“Anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.” — Flannery O’Connor

A Writing Sample:

I want to write compelling stories, and I want you to read them. But I feel uninspired. I have so many dreams and aspirations; so many ideas worth implementing, but I wonder if I need more focus. Then, I think that everything I’m trying to achieve right now works together that it’s all related because its leading me to the same goal, but what are my goals?

Multiple streams of income. To become wealthy one must have multiple streams of income. Am I trying to make money? I became a writer because it was a practical career choice. I’m sure that’s not what I thought when I decided to study writing in college. . . I still believe that my reasoning was valid — learning to communicate well is a valuable asset. I do not communicate well in spontaneous conversation, but I’d like to think I do a decent job of communicating my thoughts in writing.

My writing reflects the state of my mind, as a mother. For the last three years, my brain has functioned on 80% capacity. I had two children less than two years apart. I am still breast feeding my 21 month old. How do you function as a mother who writes and is in school? How do you develop ideas with a brain that functions at 80% capacity: with adrenal fatigue and stressed hormones?

Meditation. Mindfulness. Become a vegan.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I think that I want to be a stay-at-home mom that becomes a successful writer and teacher. Perhaps what motivates me the most is the idea of alternative education, writing that communicates to the human conscience, but does not adhere to genre labels: the evolution of language over the course of our collective existence. These are the things I think about.

So, I’m thinking about homeschooling my children when they are school age, but right now, I want them to play. I’m still adjusting to being their mother, as I feel like as much as I know them, I don’t know them.

I came across an article that said Dutch children are the happiest.

Do you feel how scattered this is? I will continue writing, and publish this here as a Sample for scientific studies on the scattered brains of a twenty-seven year old mothers who are in school and are writers.

Sample 1: the brain function of 27 year old woman, who is a mother, a student, and a writer.

I like to think that what I write will resonate with someone. Apparently, it has resonated with a few people, but I’m at that stage in my career where when I post something online and wait with eagerness for the likes and comments to increase, a friend or a family member will give it a thumbs up or like it and then no one else will. Am I wasting my time? I did recently get a few things published, but now, I have to think about what others will think when they read what I write:

That kind of thinking kills writing, to paraphrase someone.

And so this deconstruction goes on. . .

How do you know you’re a writer? How do you know you’re a mother? How do you know what you dream?

Dreams come in. . .


Alana Jamison writes the blog “It’s Simple” for TulsaKids Magazine and has pieces forthcoming in Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine and The Pitkin Review. She is in her final semester in Goddard College’s MFA in creative writing program. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and two children. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alanajamison.


At The Writing Cooperative, our mission is to help each other write better. We’ve teamed up with ProWritingAid to do just that. Try it for free!