I just discovered Glennon Doyle Melton. For those of you in as much of the dark as I have been, Glennon is the writer of the popular blog momastery.com, the author of a memoir, Carry On Warrior, and a public speaker. My dear friend Becky perked me up to Melton’s existence. “I’m reading a book that’s basically this woman’s blog posts all put together, and it’s really good,” said she. “Oh really?” said I, thinking I should check this out since I’ve often wondered how one does that. Makes blog posts into a book, I mean. For (hopefully) obvious reasons. So I grabbed my library card and tracked the book down. And I discovered something amazing. It was like reading something I’d written myself, but better. Funnier, with less grammatical errors and a more fascinating past full of drugs and drama. But the same heart. The same themes of hope and living in its light, the same verbiage, the same willingness to let it all hang out whether it makes her look good or not. The not being better, actually, because it demonstrates her humanity. Even the same love of Anne Lamott. I’m so in Glennon’s camp. Like the tent next to hers, but with rain leaking in because it’s not made as well.
My reaction to this was tri-fold: first I was sad. Everything I’m saying has been said, by a more successful person at saying things. My story isn’t nearly as dramatic. She’d been there, done that before I even got started. Excellent.
Once that sunk in I moved on to feeling lame for wishing I had a more “dramatic” (i.e. difficult and painful) past to propel me to success. Nice. Jealousy over someone else’s hardships to gain good writing material. I am a jerk.
Third and lastly I settled on feeling excited. Like I found a small treasure. Yes, it’s for everyone willing to read it – not mine to keep – but I found a person who thinks the way I think. And that’s always good. It’s the point of writing, really. To express yourself and let the world find what it wants and needs in your words. To connect with the rest of the people on the planet. To participate in beauty-finding, hope-giving things. Glennon, if I may call her that, and by reading her writing I think I may, is down with that and so am I. As Ben Lee sings, we’re all in this together. My tent may be leakier, but I’m glad to be camping near Glennon Doyle Melton, whether she knows I’m there or not.
2 Replies to “Down With That”
Hi and good morning!
I feel like I could have written this post…though like you feel about Melton….I would write the clunkier, less eloquent version. Ha!
I have experienced all of these same emotions upon discovering the work of basically someone who seems to be a more successful version of me. Sadness, jealousy, frustration…and if I am having a mature, confident day…joy and excitement. I would love to sit down and talk to you someday soon…no husbands, no babies…well, I might have to take the little baby here but he doesn’t talk back yet, so it could still work. Would you be interested?
Thanks for all your writing…I really enjoy it. I feel connected to you through shared experiences and perspectives. Funny…this virtual connection that is one sided until now (when I finally comment) in light of our close proximity! Talk to you soon hopefully and keep on writing. I look forward to buying your book someday!
Oh Betsy! It’s fun to hear that you read this and connect with it. 🙂 It IS frustrating sometimes to know that someone had your ideas first, the ones you thought were yours anyway. But as Marc wisely said the other day, it’s all been done. “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Except then we came up with gummy bears. They were once new and had never been done. So it may not apply to everything.) But he’s right as far as my writing goes. I didn’t invent it. I’m not the only one who uses the words “jacked up”. So seeing them in someone else’s writing shouldn’t blow my mind. But reading something that sounds like something you’d write invites double take, at least. As I’d assume is true with your art as well. When I got past the bummer feeling of knowing I was late for the party, I remembered that I can only do what I can do. And I’m doing what I can right now. That’s got to be enough. We’ll just see where it goes. If I had the stamina to stay up all hours of the night writing that would help, but i don’t. I like sleep. And my family likes me way better when I sleep, too. This life phase of raising little people just doesn’t make it easy to dig deep into much else. At least for me.
But you just had a show! That’s amazing considering you have a newborn and toddler. You rock, in fact. And I for one, love your work and know you had your ideas when you had them. And you execute them beautifully. Yes! I’d love to get together with you! No kiddos (besides babies) to chase while trying to get in a half-sentence at a time sounds perfect. My kids start school next week, and then the hours to chat (and write and exercise and fold laundry without guilt or stress) expand enormously.