Juliet Johnson is a writer, blogger and a farmer, she lives near Burbank, CA and has chickens and a horse. Her kids are; Nathan 12, Emma 10, and Lilly 5 and Bruce, her 27 yearold step-son. She describes herself as, “Mom and Amish – Momish. In this big city.” How was I creative pre-kids: Very hard to remember pre-kids, by the way. I’m 46, been a mom for 12 years now. I was always a writer. I’ve written since I was 13. I wrote short stories, ran a small theater company back in Maryland, where we performed my short plays every Sunday; in LA worked as an assistant to director and two producers after college, and spent most of that time watching people and writing about them, got burned out of LA and went back to MD and took a nanny job and job at a horse farm, and the space and green empty land gave me room to write screenplays, more short stories, and essays, and begin publishing them in lit mags. Then took job in LA as a writer’s assistant, finally figuring out I should be in the writer’s offices, not on set. And then got pregnant, and that was my last job. (except for freelance writing gigs of course.) My dad was a big influence on me – he’s a director and created a bunch of 70’s and 80’s sci fi shows (like Bionic Woman), and growing up around the fertile fun atmosphere of the movie set definitely colored my world, my humor and my writing.
How am I creative post-kids: After kids, my life just exploded. I thought I felt stuff, but after kids, you just leak out love (and yelling). It’s just like being blown over by a steamroller. I started writing essays about the kids, because I was with them all the time, and they were my closest available subjects. And they were so intricate, and hilarious, and I felt like all other moms were just faking it, being organized and professional about mothering, while I felt all destroyed and vulnerable and amazing and in exactly the right place. No one talked in any raw way about mothering, so I wrote my essays and found only a few quirky sites I liked, like Imperfect Parent, to publish on. Eventually I had enough essays for a whole book, and in 2008 I published “Somebody’s Always Hungry,” a book of essays on motherhood.http://www.somebodysalwayshungry.com I’ve done readings of my book at mommy groups. I also have a mom blog for the last few years – I post about once a week http://www.somebodysalwayshungry.blogspot.com – I also blogged professionally for a few sites – I was Safari Mom for Haydenburri Lane, and I was the Mom About the House for Hometips.com. I also wrote about 500 articles for Ehow.com, while one of my babies napped in a basket by my desk. I also get occasional jobs developing with a producer – I developed a teen show called “Brandi’s World” with a SF producer, I developed a show called “Dream Machine” with a guy out of Chicago (never got produced), I met a producer at a gymnastics class in Montrose and we’ve worked at developing some motherhood shows with nothing produced yet (on my website, there is a short video about “Earth Mother,” one of the shows.)
When/how do I find the time:I steal my time. I write, like right now, at midnight. I write when the kids are watching a movie. I write when there’s a pizza in the oven and kids are playing happily. I steal it. My 5 year old (the caboose) is about to start kindergarten, so now I will have mornings to write or avoid writing while crying. It’s the saddest thing, the growing up.
How has my creativity changed: I have had many years to develop my strong voice. I’m not saying it’s a great voice, but it’s definitely me and beyond me, how it comes through. So I am a solid-ish me that I like, it’s entertaining, most of the time. I like myself so much better since having kids – I think that’s the biggest change creatively. Once your body has been completely distorted by pregnancy, and then rearranged afterwards, and then your soul is expanded into three other people AND yourself – you kind of have a sense of whimsy. At least, that’s how I feel. Relaxed (occasionally), and definitly funny. Life is funny. Ridiculous. And so so important, and warm. Because these kids just explode you, and take no prisoners. It’s all or nothing.