Posted by: Deborah Drezon Carroll | June 29, 2010

I won! Well… almost…

On the wonderful and inspiring “She Writes” online community, they offered a contest to celebrate their first year. You were supposed to write about what being a mother/writer means to you, and how being a member of an online community helps you. So, I entered… and… I am runner-up! Hey, don’t scoff, that means they only liked one essay better than mine. I get a prize. Don’t know what it is and don’t really care, ’cause…. I WON! (almost) So, check out their online community and read the thoughts of many wonderful women who write. It really is inspiring.

And, ta dah… here’s my essay:

At some point, I had to stop having kids. I mean, sure, I guess I could have continued, but it seemed imprudent to keep procreating in order to have more people to talk to! I have three daughters. With any more, the shoe bill alone would have been a killer!

So, instead of children, I gave birth to pages. Pages of poems, pages of recipes with personal note, pages of letters to friends, pages of lesson plans for teachers, pages of non-fiction for newspapers to publish, and ultimately, pages of parenting stories and suggestions that became two parenting books in the 90s.

One would think that having books published would be enough. And, even I thought it would stop the madness of the urge to write. Still, I guess I was compelled to keep putting the voice inside my head out into the world to find out what came back to me. Here I am, more than ten years later… and I write.

“She Writes” could be a description of me. It would be one I’d cherish alongside, a few others, to answer the question, “What does Debby do?” “She Writes.”

And, in the She Writes community, we find others who could be described the same way. The word community comes from the French communité, which derives from the Latin communitas. “Cum” means together + munus = gift.

She Writes brings me the gift of writers. I found other moms, just like me, who have learned that while they’re mothers and that’s fulfilling, they’re also writers, because they are compelled by words. They inspire me, they teach me, they compliment me sometimes, and they hear my voice and respond. I can reach out to them anytime night or day when the urge to write is strong. I’ve learned that writing is not about being published in a book. Writing is about putting your voice out there with the promise that it might be heard.

And, that magical time between writing and listening for the response can be spent reading and “hearing” what other writers want us to hear. Being a Mother Writer member of She Writes offers me both, a forum to write and the opportunity to read what some incredible writers are thinking about and working on as we weave the tapestry of mothering and writing.

Currently, I blog with my grown daughters. They write, too. I’ve taught them that the best way to hone their craft is to read how other writers fashion their thoughts and feelings into words. She Writes enables me to point my daughters in the right direction and know that there they can join a community where people come together with a gift. They Write.



  1. Congrats on winning (almost)!!!!! The way I’d look at it rather than them liking one more than you is they liked yours more than lots of other people, LOL (I look for the ego boost in everything).

    Stopping by from SITS.

  2. Exactly! Love the name of your blog. I’m heading over to check it out.

  3. Congratulations! It’s always nice to be recognized for what we do and it encourages us to continue. Best wishes for continued success!

  4. Thanks for checking in. You’re right, it is encouraging and don’t we all need that?

  5. How exciting! It is wonderful to hear such great things about women supporting other women. I look forward to following your work.

    – Emily

  6. Congrats! I will have to check out that site. I was a professional journalist before mom-dom and am always looking for more inspiration!

  7. I’m listening to a She Writes blog talk radio show right now. It’s one of the great supports they provide. Definitely check out It’s terrific.

    • You are so cool for shouting out She Writes to other women who write! Thank you! And loved your essay. I was one of the judges. 🙂

  8. Oh, how fun that you are here, too. I love She Writes. I feel like it elevates me among the truly talented. (Not that it makes me truly talented, it just makes me feel like I could be!) I will continue to shout it out. I think it’s an inspiring community and defines community the way it’s meant to be in the virtual world.

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