Confessional Freelance Writing: Yay or Nay?

For several years, I had a regular gig as a contributing writer to Parent Society. I wrote dozens of articles about potty training, birthday parties, breastfeeding, potty training AND breastfeeding (nightmare), crafts, preschool, taking baby to the beach (one of the most popular ones, surprisingly), funky clothes for kids, technology, and why I dislike mom groups (my opinion has changed since then… well, slightly). But it’s articles just like the mom-group disdain that got me thinking: How much sharing is too much sharing, even if you’re getting paid for it?

The New Queen of the Undershare

I don’t overshare on social media, and I do put a great deal of thought into any post that mentions my kids by name or includes a rare photo of them. Yet, I wrote an 800-word article about my first miscarriage that anyone with web access could read. The piece didn’t get the most Likes or shares or Tweets, but it did get one thing: some very personal responses from friends and strangers. “Thank you so much,” was the most amazing comment I heard because my willingness to dig deep and confess what had happened helped at least one other parent feel normal about their own experience.

Will I ever write about my miscarriages again? It’s unlikely. I am far beyond the stage of thinking about conception and onto fondly looking at the photos of our kids’ births every once in a while. I’ve also reached the point where our 6-year-old daughter is starting to become a wee bit self-conscious (isn’t it too early for that stuff?). Her behavior makes me far more aware of what I’m putting into cyberspace. One day she’ll be Googling her writer mother and come across stories about her own childhood. I rather look forward to this moment – I hope she is proud that my name is out there and my words too. And I hope she isn’t mortified that I used some of my experiences as a stumbling new mother as fodder for my writing.

The baby life and little-kid silliness was one thing to expound upon, but my young lady is growing up and she deserves her privacy. I don’t have any ongoing parenting beats these days – my time is spent doing quite a bit of ghost blogging for cosmetic dentists and carpet cleaners and attorneys. I like it that way. It pays the bills and keeps me on my toes.

I’ll save my confessional writing for my motherhood journals now, though every once in a while I may squeak out a piece like this one featured at Avvo Stories: