Sleep Is for the Weak: the best of the mommybloggers including Amalah, Finslippy, Fussy, Woulda Coulda Shoulda, Mom-101, and More! (a BlogHer Book), from Chicago Review Press, was edited by Rita Arens, who blogs at Surrender, Dorothy.
I saw Rita talk about her struggles to get this book published at the What We Do: Blog to Book Redux session at Blogher 2008, which was lived blogged at Semi-Charmed Life. I admire the hard work it took to get Sleep Is for the Weak out there, and was thrilled that someone finally got a bunch of mom bloggers together to do a “best of” book and put the BlogHer brand on it. It seemed like validation that yes, we mom bloggers are worthy of a printed publication rather than just getting mentioned in the Style section of the New York Times. After hearing the powerful writing that was shared at the BlogHer Community Keynote address the day before at BlogHer 2008, mom bloggers (and some dad bloggers, too) had finally arrived in the realm of serious writing. I’m sure Virginia Woolf and the Bronte sisters would send their regards.
The Best Parts
I started reading it when I got home after the conference. There’s some amazingly good writing in Sleep Is for the Weak. First the fun stuff. I loved Miriam Kamin’s “Mama, Who Invented the Speculum.” The first time I read it on her blog, Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, the tears were streaming down my face from laughing. And “Corn on the Cam” by Birdie Jaworksi of Birdie’s New Mexico Time Machine was sheer genius. How I wished I was on that adventurous culinary car trip with her and her children. She made it sound like so much fun.
Then there were the powerful posts. Rita sharing her struggles with anorexia and self-hate in “Nicole Ritchie Has Nothing on Me.” Jen Satterwhite of Mommy Needs Coffee sharing “You Can Never Out-Love Your Mom” about her mother dying. And “The Menopausal Hut” by Grace Davis of State of Grace discussing a woman’s need for a hut of one’s own. (In my opinion we all need such a hut, menopausal or not.)
Much of the book contained the type of writing I have trouble creating, the type where the writer bares it all and is very open about her marriage, childhood, children, and herself via her blog. I admire people who can do this, but I can’t because I don’t want people – even the ones closest to me – to know how I’m feeling much of the time. It makes me feel too vulnerable, and my writing suffers for it by being too middle of the road.