How to Nurture Your Words


“MEN NEED THIS!” his voiced boomed across the table at me as he lunged for my Mother Yourself Workbook. “Dad’s especially need to learn how to be more nurturing with their children.”

“Maybe you could put together a group like that for men. It’s a good idea, but our group is for women,” I said.

Devin & I had a Narrative Nest table on Saturday at the Meet Your Literary Community in Phoenix and questions arose about who the group was directed towards. I’m currently working on a freebie for the Naked Page that’s all about defining your ideal reader. So, who is the Narrative Nest’s ideal member? It’s a great question. We certainly started the Narrative Nest with moms in mind. Devin & I both wrangle children along with our freelance writing careers.

Are we for moms? Of course!

What about moms with foster or adopted kids? Absolutely!

Moms who foster fur babies? Why not?

Teachers who work with kids all day? Yes, they count, too!

Women who don’t fit into these other criteria but desire a supportive community of women writers with a more feminine approach than you may find in other critique groups? Most definitely.

What about dads? And men who need to learn about nurturing? Nope. Sorry, fellas. Get your own group.

Here’s where we draw a line in the sand. Why?

Try this exercise:

Close your eyes. Yes, you, really close them.

Say the word “mothered.” And picture what that looks like. Any feelings coming up for you?

Now say the word “fathered.” What’s that word look & feel like?

If you’re like most people, words like mothered, mothering, motherly will give you a sense of someone being nurtured, protected, warmly invited into a family or domestic experience.

But fathered? That one’s a bit different. Did you think of an instant biological experience? Ahhhh! Reproduction. That’s the one.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a mother to understand how to mother or be mothered. To nurture someone else, yourself, or even your words on a page.

I think you’ll agree with me, ladies. Men do need to learn how to nurture themselves and other people. But our group isn’t for them. We’re providing a feminine experience for women so they can share their stories and mother their book babies without the male gaze. We deserve this!

Marketing 101 taught me that you had to define your audience right down to their shoes. That may be true, but you’ll also find that if you have a target market, a secondary market will emerge.

Just to be clear about who the Narrative Nest serves at our writing critique groups:

Our Target Market: Mothers (if you identify, you’re in)

Our Secondary Market: Women who need to be in a supportive writing group to nurture their writing

Ladies, if you’ve got writing, we’ve got space for you.

**Our writing group is a LGBTQA friendly space.