I can’t separate my experience as a mother from my life as a writer. Writing has always been the way I order the universe and make sense of chaos. It’s how I figure out what I think and feel. It’s where I pour my anger and dread. It’s where I feel most free, and it’s where I fight. Becoming a parent has profoundly shaped my vision of the world, the same way that becoming a pirate or an arsonist or chronically ill changes your perspective and how you move in the world. You never look at the world the same way. The stakes are different. You are different. I know stuff about the world, about myself, I’d never know if I wasn’t someone’s mother. I’d like to think it’s made me a smarter, more compassionate human being. By the same token it also changes how people look at you. It’s funny we so often regards mothers as being one-dimensional, sexless, creatures—toothless, when in fact I know I’m a much more interesting and dangerous person now than I ever was before.
Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls, interviewed by Justin Taylor, author of The Gospel of Anarchy