Writer Mama Riffs: Go Ahead, Be Content with Yourself

If you are completely content with yourself, that’s great.

Really. I mean it. That’s so nice…but it makes for kinda boring writing.

On the more interesting end of the spectrum, I went to hear Chelsea Cain speak at Willamette Writers this week.

Here’s what got my attention: A mom who wrote a really twisted thriller that ended up on the NYT Bestseller List. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

And Chelsea Cain did not disappoint. She was authentic, honest and just herself. She spoke candidly about her imperfections.

I like that in a mama.

And I was real too. I covered my ears when she read a gory description that I didn’t want to have imprinted on my brain.

Other folks at the meeting looked at me like I was crazy (Marc!). I didn’t care. It’s my brain and if I don’t want the image of a dead girl’s body in it, I’ll cover my ears.

But I digress. The point is that Chelsea Cain wasn’t acting like she’s got it all figured out.

She isn’t stricken with self-contentedness just because her books garner seven-figure advances now. And as a result of her humility, I walked out of that meeting appreciating her as a human being, not just a mother who wrote a twisted book (that’s what she called it).

So, if you must, go ahead and be content. Have your life in perfect order. Have perfect children. The perfect husband, home, etc. etc.

We will all be in awe. (Or we won’t believe you.) Repeat after me: Contentedness does not good writing make.

Viva la imperfection! That’s where we all live anyway. 🙂

And that’s my riff for today.

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3 Responses to “Writer Mama Riffs: Go Ahead, Be Content with Yourself”


  1. 1 Debbie Ohi November 9, 2007 at 5:10 am

    Great title. 🙂 I’ve mentioned your blog/book in Inkygirl.com today. By the way, your store link on the “Who is WM” page doesn’t work; there’s an extra “http:”, I think.

  2. 2 sagecohen November 10, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Amen, Writer Mama!

  3. 3 Mary Jo C. November 12, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Love it!! If I knew nothing of imperfection, I’d have a hard time creating the dark characters I write…and they’re so much fun to watch!


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