Runnin’ Down a Dream

Last fall I got an e-mail from someone with Real Girls Media, a new Internet company in San Francisco. This was on the tail end of me being rejected as a Club Mom blogger (didn’t every other mommy blogger far and wide apply?)

They found my blog, some how, some way, for some reason, from 2,000 miles away and they liked it and they wanted me to be part of an advisory team as they launched their new women’s website, DivineCaroline. Rebecca Weeks with their company flew to Nashville (she of the very cool robin’s egg blue trench coat that I coveted) and over chocolate and coffee at a hip coffee shop she showed me the mockups of their website and asked my opinion. She wanted my opinion on a new women’s website.

This week I am officially part of their beta ad network for at least one year. It’s an I scratch your back, you scratch my back sort of Internet deal. I drive traffic to them and their advertisers and they drive traffic to me by featuring me as a featured partner on their parenting page, along with the super awesome Amy Clark at MomAdvice.

I will not be quiting my day job. I do hope that this will bring me a little “mad money,” as I call it, but what I really hope is that this will open some doors for me as a writer. Although I do work in publishing as an editor, I don’t really get to write creatively. Trust me, there are only so many ways you can write about M&A and corporate governance over six years.

Back to my point, and there is one. Why is it that women, especially, doubt themselves?

My friend Mrs. Flinger just wrote about being the generic Cheerios of the Internet. What I would like to tell her, and you, is I battle self-doubt daily. When I met the other DivineCaroline advisors, including the fabulous Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil from Nashville, several of them nonchalantly mentioned their book deals, their agents, their “business.” I sat at a table in San Francisco and felt a wave of anxiety come over me when it was my turn to introduce myself. How in the world did I fit into the grand scheme of all of this? What is my niche? What the hell is my brand? My God! Do I even have one? I felt like the never will be a popular girl, always the smart/good girl of high school all over again. I am the girl who has never lived more than 60 miles from her hometown, who has never appeared on television or written a book, who doesn’t have a master’s degree, who has never been to Europe, who wonders constantly if she could have done this or that better, who wishes she could lose five (OK eight, dammit) pounds, and who wonders when she will turn what she loves to do best, writing, into a career?

Any time I doubt myself, I buckle down and continue writing and try to take pride in my current work. I remind myself that only a few months on the job at Vanderbilt University, fresh out of college and oh so young and skinny, I was named interim editor of the faculty/staff newspaper. When I left six and a half years later, I was the public affairs officer for the university’s largest school, the College of Arts and Science. At my current job I had the opportunity to interview the former CEO of Pepsi.

I am a professional. I am not “just” a mommy. And yes, that is important to me.

I hope I start believing in myself more and telling my self-doubt to take a hike. To quote one of Miss C’s favorite books, “When I grow up, I want to be me.”

21 comments

  1. Nicole says:

    Amazing, Why do we doubt ourselves. I love your blog and the new co. should be thrilled to have you. I am a working mother of 2 (and 1 in the oven) and I find myself having to defend being a working mother. All of my sisters and friends are stay at home moms. I enjoy having time away and I need a since of accomplishment, and not just accomplishing keeping a clean house and the kids in order. Oh yeah Im also from Clarksville, TN. I also lived in Nashville. I love TN. now I reside in Little Rock AR. The best of luck on your new venture! Nicole

  2. Lisa says:

    You’re a stud – don’t doubt yourself! I think we are at a time of our lives where it is oh-so-natural to wallow in self-doubt. As great as the kiddos are, they take the spotlight so much that you kind of lose who you are. Sometimes I struggle with staying home & knowing who I am besides Goosey & Lulu’s mom & Hubby’s wife, you know? And what do I do all day? Laundry, dishes, errands, etc? I hope my value is much more than that, but seriously it is draining. Anyway, I hope this new venture is exciting for you & helps to affirm what a smart lady & great mother you really are!!!
    PS – I come to read your writing on a daily basis…it’s great!

  3. Renee says:

    That is so cool, Jamie! You are a great writer and deserve some recognition. And if it brings in some extra money to boot, yippee!

  4. Rachel says:

    How exciting and wonderful!
    I love reading you and I love that quote.
    When I grow up though, I want to be my daughter!! She is uber confident, totally hip, adorable and funny.
    I want to be that!!
    Congrats on this fabulous opportunity!

  5. Blonde Mom says:

    Thanks ya’ll. Rachel, I love your comment about your daughter. 🙂

    And that book is EXCELLENT for little girls. The illustrations are great, too! My mom bought it last year after reading about it.

  6. Amy says:

    I love your blog and it’s clear you are such a pro! They correctly tagged you as someone whose opinion they needed to have. I’ll click on over for ya!! Congrats!!

  7. Colleen says:

    First off, congratulations on the great ad venture! You deserve it. And, good for you for realizing the value you bring to the table. You’ve always been a favorite of mine (blog writer and friend) and I love it that you’re talking truth about who you are and what you have to offer (which is so much).

  8. Nicole says:

    When I grow up, I want to be you too! Congratulations! If I were still down the road, this would be cause for margaritas, but since I’m here and you’re there — have one for me!

  9. Amy says:

    Alright there Missy! You Rock! I want the first autographed article/book!! Right after your Mama! Love ya!

  10. The Park Wife says:

    Why is it that as women we feel that we are not worthy? I deal with that self-doubt daily. But, I know that God has a great adventure that He created just for me, I just have to put all the fear aside and trust Him. As for you sweet blondemom, your warmth and kindness permiates through your written word, I am in awe of you. The Park Wife

  11. Blonde Mom says:

    Ya’ll are really, really sweet. I appreciate the kind words, really I do. Today I am home with two sick and whiny girls and I could use them! I don’t know how working moms who don’t have the opportunity to work some from home do it.

  12. Richie Ann says:

    Awesome post! I guess we all feel that way and then feel we must list our resumes to each other so we’ll feel like we should fit in. I personally find myself clamming up and not wanting to say anything at all. What could I possibly have to contribute to a world of women more sophisticated and smarter than I? But I’ve always thought that Blondemom is a significant voice in the world.

  13. Kate says:

    Congratulations on the new job. I’ve been reading your blog for a bit and think you’ll do great at Divine Caroline.

    I know what you mean about the doubting bug – its especially hard when you’ve got little kids (I’ve got three under 4 years old) – you get tired, not a ton of great feedback, and not a all the mental stimulation you want/need.

    Just keep writing and following your passion!

  14. selfmademom says:

    We wouldn’t be mothers if we didn’t compare everything. Just be yourself and you will be great! Awesome news on the divine caroline advisor- good for you!

  15. Erin says:

    I think that what you are doing sounds interesting and even exciting. It’s neat that you are able to write about your life and still get paid for it, and that people value your words.

  16. Holly Schwendiman says:

    LOVE the topic of this post and how easy it is for women to doubt and criticize themselves. But mostly I’m so tickled for you on your recent developments. I wish you every success!

    Hugs,
    Holly

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