I'm a Published Author?! #ForUsJrnl (And a Word from the Publisher)
A few days ago, I posted this question from the #ForUsJrnl, “Do you love yourself as much as you expect others to love you?”. The results are in: 54% of the respondents said “Truthfully, no”, and 43% said yes. In all honesty, the ratio of women that saw the post versus those that answered proved that they were either afraid, embarrassed or shocked. Women and mothers have the hardest jobs in the world. Our level of strength navigating in this world requires us to need the most healing; self healing. Here’s a look into my journey curating the For Us: A Self Care Journal for Mamas.
It’s taken me some time to write this post because I can’t believe it’s true. I published a journal! For Us: A Self Care Journal for Mamas came to me over a year ago. I felt it so deeply that mothers of color needed a writing forum to help heal themselves. Although it sounds like a random idea, it came to me from my own experience of trauma through my transit of motherhood. Motherhood is a job that we take without direction or instruction. We spread our love thin- none for us, more for everybody else. And for added measure, being a black millennial mother is looked at by society as a “burden”. It’s constantly referenced to like a disease- “single black motherhood”. It’s one of those things that when you hear it enough, you start to believe it. There’s a war on Black motherhood- emotional warfare, financial warfare, the list goes on. But Black motherhood is complex, with it’s beauty, pain, joy, strength, and struggle.
My Relationship with Journaling
I’ve self-sabotaged, holding space for things that weren’t deserving. I’ve always been a woman that held space for others but literally couldn’t keep that same energy for myself. I’ve had “friends” that drained me with their needs and didn’t have an inkling of reciprocity. I’ve built up a man like I’ve birthed him, meanwhile I was the one in need of rebirth. My need for self-healing was a state of emergency. I attended therapy, yoga, and seeked other healing modalities. I’m an advocate for these things; but I’m an advocate for SELF first. Writing has granted me liberation, healing, and elevated my love for self. It’s allowed me to be vulnerable with myself and share my secrets without a judge. Journaling has become such a sacred activity for me. I light candles, play music, and bring crystals along to guide my thoughts and words. It’s a place for me to feel safe.
The Creative Process
I created this journal because I needed it. As a creative, we curate things that we need, knowing there’s someone else in the world that needs it to. All the working parts of the #ForUsJrnl stemmed from the things that I lack in my personal life. I needed organization and accountability, so I knew it had to have checklists. I needed to remain humble, so I added a space to share what I’m grateful for. I needed to remind myself daily that I deserved SELF LOVE so I added, “today I’ll show myself love by…”. There’s inspirational quotes, writing prompts and 160 pages for you to love yourself more for YOU and your child(ren). There’s questions that will trigger some emotion, surface truth that you’ve been avoiding, and it might even “check” you. I promise you, you’ll be thanking yourself you even took the time to slow down and free yourself through writing!
Black Author, Black Publisher
It was so important to me to find someone to team with that was relative to me. It’s hard to work with someone that doesn’t culturally understand for something so sacred. I was blessed to find a black female publisher that didn’t think my idea to take on this project was insane. Her exact words were, “LET’S DO IT! I’m excited!” I’m so thankful for Bryonna Jay of 1134press.com! She took a risk on me! I’ve been lucky to have a publisher that believed in my (crazy) ideas and challenged me! She executed the design and my vision of the #ForUsJrnl perfectly!
I created this journal for my sisters and mamas…ones I know personally and ones in spirit. This journal is for us to slow down. To really take the time to reflect on our lives, our truths, what we want (and no longer want) for ourselves. Use For Us: A Self Care Journal for Mamas to show up for yourself, hold space for yourself and inspire yourself. Most important, make time either in the morning (think: intention) instead of scrolling or right before bed. Think of the #ForUsJrnl as an accountability partner. You can always reference it to keep your own promises and to measure your growth. Tell your mama tribes or use it as the perfect gift for Baby Showers, Gender reveals, birthdays or just because! If you aren’t already, follow @madmilfy.co on IG, and email email@example.com with any questions. I can’t wait to hear from you guys!
A Word from the Publisher
For Us: A Self Care Journal for Mamas is the first collaborative project that we, 1134 Press, have published. Between life’s responsibilities, Bri “Bam” Mobley and I worked diligently for over a year to create a special journal for mothers to navigate their journey in self-care and love. I am not a mother, but I know so many amazing women that are. Working on this project was a way for me show my gratitude to all those women who have helped shape me into the person that I am today. It takes a lot to raise children and mentor others. Taking time to replenish yourself mentally and spiritually is not just a practice for those who don’t have children, yet, we expect (demand, even) for moms to put their wants and needs last. As Mobley said, “How are you going to pour into your little one if you’re pouring from an empty cup?”
In early discussions about what For Us could be, the conversation always returned to the idea of a room. We wanted this journal to feel like a vibrant room filled with flora and fauna, affirmations, a safe space to question, forgive, and reflect. There are too many aspects in life where women, especially mothers, don’t have autonomy over their spaces, be it internal or external. For Us attempts to achieve just that—a room of your own to be as loud or quiet as you want.
As a person who has kept a journal since I was eight-years-old, I was surprised by the transformation that my personal journaling underwent while working on this project. Yes, For Us was made for moms, but prompts such as, “Here is the tribe I can call on for help” and “What kind of woman do I want to be in the world,” struck a chord in me. It is our hope that For Us will do the same for you.
Preorders are available now with a special offer until July 1 st , 2019 on 1134press.com.
Bio: Bryonna Jay is a co-owner of 1134 Press, fiction writer, and handmade book artist. Follow
1134 Press on Facebook and Instagram @1134Press.
Link to Journal: https://www.1134press.com/store/for-us-a-self-care-journal-for-mamas-pre-