Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Out of Focus and Back


After failing so miserably at being Nurse Becky and every other “career” I’ve tried, I’ve been so fortunate to have found something that I really, truly loved to do. When I discovered that I could write, it was like suddenly learning I could breathe underwater.

I wrote stories not because I wanted to, or felt obligated to, but because I had to. Those words were locked inside my brain, just itching to get out, and I could hardly wait to get in front of my computer to type some more. On the rare occasion I couldn’t manage to string them together into sentences, flowing into paragraphs, forming entire posts, I wrote them in my head.

I had finally found my calling. After years of being certain I was an utter failure, I’d found what I was supposed to do.

The next logical progression was, of course, to turn all of these essays into a collection of essays. Only it didn’t happen easily. I expected that. If it had happened when I began, I’m entirely certain that it wouldn’t have worked out for one reason or another.

But as the months turned into years, I began to doubt myself. Was this really what I was supposed to be doing? Was living my life on The Internet enough for me? Did it really matter if I ever turned those books of essays into something more than semi-completed drafts?

I simply didn’t know anymore.

Rather than dwell, I busied myself living my life on The Internet. I founded Mushroom Printing in July of last year and Band Back Together in September. I wrote columns for other sites. I signed up to go to conferences like Type A Mom and BlogHer. I got better at The Twitter. I decided to wage war against Mark Zuckerberg and The Facebook. I decided to take Band Back Together and turn it into a non-profit. I made business cards. Sold ads.

And all that time, in the back of my head, that feeling of Failure at Books, with a Big Fat F, sat there, silently mocking me.

Things which, at the time I mention it, seem ridiculous to everyone around me, have always been spectacularly in focus to me. I know what I am supposed to do next because I just know. I don’t need the approval of a soul, I don’t worry about risks or being mocked, because I know I am right. In the end, I have always been proved to have been right.

I am excellent, it seems, at seeing things clearly.

Except when I cannot. Which is how I’ve felt about my books. They’ve felt out of focus for so long that the self-doubt has crept in around the corners, making me question myself. I hate to question myself more than I hate John C. Mayer.

But perhaps you all are right. Perhaps it is time to write – really write – them. If the publishing industry doesn’t want me, well, that’s their loss. If The Man wants to keep me down*, well fuck him.

Believing in myself – knowing my Pranksters have my back – maybe that’s enough to put things back into focus again.

As always, Pranksters, I owe you a debt of gratitude I can never repay.

It’s time, I think, to write the shit out of my books. Unless you have any better suggestions.

*a joke**


37 Comments to

“Out of Focus and Back”

  1. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am Susan Says:

    Are we long lost sisters or something because this is exactly how I feel too.

  2. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:15 am Brandon Says:

    Why not dip your toes into the publishing waters, and release a ‘best of Aunt Becky’ anthology? Take 20-30 of your best works, add some witty commentaries and illustrations, and sell it as an ebook for like $5.

    You’ll sell the living balls off of it, and it’ll boost your confidence. You’ll be a writing fiend, and the words will flow out of you.

    Just a thought. I’ve been through your blogs, and would still drop a fiver to have you on my kindle.

  3. On June 13th, 2011 at 2:55 pm Kathy Miranda Says:

    Great idea, Brandon!

  4. On June 13th, 2011 at 3:15 pm JenniferB Says:

    Hellz to the Yeah!!! I would love to have an e-book by AB on my Kindle. I think it’s totally the way to go, and know you have enough gems here on MWV to publish! Just in the 2 years I’ve been reading, you’ve made me laugh, cry, and shake my fist at the screen a bundle of times. I think having a best of MWV would be amazing. I would buy it for friends for gifts!!!!! Please do this. Pretty please? Don’t make me get all Eyeofthemotherfuckingtiger on you. DO IT!!!!!!

  5. On June 13th, 2011 at 9:48 pm Megan L Says:

    I have a kindle and I would love to have your writing as a book on there. I read your blogs all the time, and my sister showed me band back together, and that has helped me so much with what I’m going through. So please publish a book!!

  6. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:17 am Tonya Says:

    I’m so gonna read these books!! Thanks for the humping.

  7. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:31 am neena Says:

    Shut your whore mouth and get to writing!! We’re all here to love you through the process!

  8. On June 13th, 2011 at 12:04 pm Elly Says:

    What ^she^ says.

  9. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:31 am diana hampo Says:

    focus comes slowly…little steps, then it all clears up

  10. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:31 am Halala Mama Says:

    If you have the idea, and burning desire (much like a burning std, but better) to write a book…then write. Because that desire? It won’t go away until you complete your work.

    I have two fairly solid book ideas and I’m devoting my summer to getting one of them on paper. I read Stephen King’s “Writing: A Memoir on the Craft” and it helped get some of the pieces better in focus for me.

  11. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:42 am Vinobaby Says:

    AB, you are so ahead of the rest of us I could cry. You ARE a writer. You have a prime spot in the blogosphere, a faithful band of Merry Pranksters, and you are doing some real good out there.

    It is scary out there. Probably why I’ve been a chicken shit and hiding from my book for a month or so. Because what happens when you spend years of blood, sweat and tears pouring your heart out into a manuscript that no one wants…it’s really freaking terrifying…but you gotta try…

    Write on lovely…


  12. On June 14th, 2011 at 12:07 am Joules Says:

    Hey VB,no more hiding. DO IT.

  13. On June 13th, 2011 at 11:51 am Ry Says:

    Yo go Aunty Becky!!! I’ll fight em all off for the 1st autographed copy!!

  14. On June 13th, 2011 at 1:00 pm mumma boo Says:

    Write, woman, write! You need to do this for YOU. We’ll be here to support you all the way. And I’m talking real support – like underwires and spandex and shit. Now, start typing.

  15. On June 13th, 2011 at 1:04 pm Alexis Says:

    I second Brandon. Self-publish, self-promote, see what happens? Worst case you’ll learn a TON and no matter what, you’ll get to tell everybody you are a “published author.” Best case it’ll be a huge hit, the major publishers will come after you with fabulous offers discussed over dinner at Nobu and this time next year you’ll be chatting it up with those hussies on The View.

  16. On June 13th, 2011 at 1:08 pm Beth Says:

    No ifs about it. You write those books and make them your bitches!

  17. On June 13th, 2011 at 2:22 pm Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    I can’t wait to buy your books. Can I get them autographed?

  18. On June 13th, 2011 at 2:27 pm ChiMomWriter Says:

    Write for you. Write because this is something you can’t get out of your head – You happen to have the great bonus that you’re actually GOOD at it, too! If we should all be so lucky…

    Write. You always engage your readers, and I have no doubt you will find your audience with your books (HELLO, we’re right here!)

    (And hey, it certainly doesn’t hurt for a publisher or two to be glancing over an initial chapter when you get one down, too.)

    Do it. Own it.

  19. On June 13th, 2011 at 3:55 pm SharleneT. Says:

    You have to listen to your inner voice and not let anyone stop you from following that drive. Many will, because they don’t want to be left behind. Now, get busy….

  20. On June 13th, 2011 at 5:18 pm katrina Says:

    FUCK YEAH Becky!! you are (already) an awesome writer!!! I also like Brandon’s idea…..Eyeofthemotherfuckintigeranthologgy!!

  21. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:00 pm Tracie Says:

    Write write write!!

    We all know it is going to be awesome….and we are all going to go buy a copy when you get published! (note that says, “when” not “if”!!!)

  22. On June 13th, 2011 at 7:28 pm Suniverse Says:

    Yeah, pretty much all you can do is write. It’s going to eat away at you otherwise.

    Go for it. Why the fuck not?

  23. On June 13th, 2011 at 8:42 pm sue j. Says:

    do it, chick.

  24. On June 13th, 2011 at 9:54 pm Pete In Az Says:


    Is any of this sinking in?

  25. On June 13th, 2011 at 10:57 pm Alex@LateEnough Says:

    I understand. My 10% of a book occasionally mocks me. But I know in my gut that it’s not indigestion but a need to finish it. Even if other things are going better and are easier.

  26. On June 14th, 2011 at 12:05 am Joules Says:

    No more suggestions. No more perhaps. Get out of yer own motherfucking way and DO this thing.

  27. On June 14th, 2011 at 1:30 am Alexis Says:

    Dear Auntie Becky,
    I cannot wait to read your books. I SO want to be you when I’m all the way grown up.
    Your niece,

  28. On June 14th, 2011 at 1:43 am TR Says:

    WoW! Congratulations, Aunt Becky!

  29. On June 14th, 2011 at 3:02 am Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo Says:

    I believe in you.

  30. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:19 am Marta Says:

    Do it, you’re going to be great. =)

  31. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am Anna Says:

    I would totally read your book! You should do it! Good luck 🙂

  32. On June 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am Anna Says:

    I would totally read your book! You should do it! Good luck 🙂

  33. On June 14th, 2011 at 10:19 am The Mommy Therapy Says:

    I love Brandon’s idea.

    You seem to have so much to say, especially about your past, who wouldn’t want to read what you have been through and what you have learned?

    You can do it!

  34. On June 14th, 2011 at 11:01 am Hard Writer Says:

    Aunt Becky, I agree with Brandon, but I have something to add. I read the draft chapter of your book, and I was surprised to see that it was not quite written in the sharp, brief, awesome, Aunt-Becky style I have come to know and love from Mommy Wants Vodka. If you are going to write a book of mostly new essays (not a “best of”), you may want to start by pretending you are writing a long post. Then you can go back and take out all the “f–ck”s and references to John C. Mayer, and then you can go back again and polish it some more. But if you go into this thinking that you are writing “A BOOK” and therefore must use flowery, drawn-out language, your writing won’t be nearly as good as it is on this blog. That’s my advice, for what it’s worth. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or want to shit on my head. Thanks.

  35. On June 14th, 2011 at 4:05 pm Triplezmom Says:

    Get your ass. . .er. . .keep your ass in front of that computer and write those books. I need you on Kindle. According to JA Konrath’s blog, you’ll make more money if you self-publish anyway.

  36. On June 14th, 2011 at 6:47 pm Andrea Says:

    Hooray for you! You’ll do it…you know you gotta! I did NaNoWriMo this past November, so now I have a 53,000 word document that sort of just mocks me sometimes, so I love that you believe in yourself!!!! If John Mayer can have an album, you absolutely need a book!

  37. On June 15th, 2011 at 8:35 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I love you.

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