To Catch a “Z” By Loralei Walker

Sleepless days, sleepless nights. As my eyes try to focus on the screen, my head keeps telling me “Just one more little thing,” The only Z’s for me are in the word “e-zine.”

I almost wish that someone had told me, before I became a writer, about the burning fire in the pit of your stomach at the mere thought of creation. Even as I write this article, new ideas are popping into my head. It’s 1:45 AM, and so far, I have been awake for 18 hours, almost all of them spent in front of the computer. Not to mention my sleep already being interrupted nightly by my daughter’s need to nurse. Of course, without her, my e-zine would never be.

It was during my pregnancy, after a failed engagement (I never even got to wear the white dress!), that I decided to write part-time for some extra money. Also, being a quasi computer “geek”, the Internet was my first choice for resources on single motherhood.

To my dismay, valuable resources for single moms were few and far between. And so was born my first fire, to write a survival guide for my special breed. After a discussion about my book in progress with the owner of my favorite consignment store, I was later informed of my omission of single dads. “The man that was in here the other day,” Gail said to me, “wondered why your guide wasn’t for single parents. He’s the single father of three, and feels that single dads are too often overlooked.” Hence, the all-consuming fire in my stomach – I just had to create a zine for single parents!

The birth of my second baby, parentingforone.com, has proven to be far more difficult to deal with than my daughter, Angelina. Hours spent searching for the perfect domain name, learning HTML, creating images, not to mention the countless hours (days, weeks) of promotion. There I sat, looking for the best places to find contributors, wondering how I’ll find subscribers (and I still am), and all the while holding down my job as a single mom.

Just three days after the site was online, I was feeling overwhelmed. All these great ideas I had, but how could I see them fulfilled? Then it happened. Catherine S. Cain, Ph.D., was interested in my site! A specialist in childhood behavior and parenting issues, what more could I ask for? I wanted her to be my resident expert and offered to promote her in every way I could think of – links to her home page, a link to purchase her books, and free ads in the newsletter.

There I sat, trying to create an honest pitch while making promises that I knew I could fulfill. The odds, I figured, were totally against me. If it wasn’t for that fire in my stomach, the desire to create, I might even have walked away. With the dreaded anticipation of a child awaiting a bad report card, I pressed the “send” button, and awaited my response.

The next day, there it was. Dare I open it? I’m a writer, a creator; it’s in my nature to dare, so open it I did. If you can, picture a 31-year old woman in her pajamas, dancing around the house and jumping up and down. I had my resident expert! My e-zine would be born, after all!

Today is day 5 (well, day 6, I guess) of my e-zine journey. I have six pages created, with one more to come tomorrow, and lots more after that. Day 4 gave me a whopping 50 visitors to my site, which made my “tummy-fire” burn even brighter, because it hasn’t even been submitted to any search engines yet. Today, I read a query from a woman who wrote for ABC news, and has published many articles on families and family issues.

The e-zine will happen, and it will be a success- I can feel it in the pit of my stomach. It’s 2:30 a.m. now and I still haven’t slept. The coals of the fire are burning low right now; I’d better catch some Z’s.

Loralei Walker is a freelance writer from Vancouver, BC. She is the single mother of 8-month old Angelina, who was the inspiration behind her book. Loralei’s work has been featured in numerous writing related newsletters, as well as on corporate websites. For information regarding writing, visit her website at http://www.just-write4you.com/.