When Do You Write? MARJ HATZELL

I met Marj in suburban Philadelphia during the hazy blur of early parenthood. We were part of the same playgroup, and though I only rarely attended, the group was crucial to me keeping my sanity during those early years.

When I moved away from Philadelphia, I was sad leave the people who’d supported me during the early years of my children. But lucky for me, soon after my move, Marj started a blog.

There’s something about blogging that connects you closer to people you once knew in person. Their online selves are different, often exploring a dimension of them you never knew. Though I’d always appreciated Marj for her parental words of wisdom, kindness, and honesty, what I’ve come to love most about Marj since my move is her humor

Marj is really funny. Actually, her online-self is quite hysterical.

Marj has mastered a personable, conversational voice in her writing. Every moment feels immediate. Read just a few of her blog posts and articles for Aiming Low, and you’ll feel like you’ve known Marj your entire life. But what I love most about Marj’s writing, is that she regularly reminds me that online friendships are real friendships. And that if we want to get the most out of them, we must nurture them and respect them in the very same way.


I started a blog seven years ago, in the midst of post-partum depression, a move, and soon after I found out that my boys were autistic.

Triple whammy.

I needed an outlet. A friend suggested I try online weblogs.

I loved the freedom of writing whatever I wanted – no filter, no repercussions. It was cathartic, too– great therapy for dealing with a significant amount of stress due to my sons’ disabilities and my lack of sleep (which I write about sometimes. KIDDING! I write about it A LOT).

Eventually I found friends through blogs and blogs through friends. Then the most amazing thing happened – I found a community. I found other parents going through very similar circumstances: autism parents, parents of children with medical issues, moms who get absosmurfly no sleep (ME). I also found support, information, kindness, and advice.

And I found myself.

I write in every spare moment of the day I can find. Because my first priority is TECHNICALLY sleep, and since time management is not my forte (ahem), I write anytime, anywhere, any place. Yep, it’s totally random (and a perfect example of my disjointed brain).

I guess you could say I’m always writing. I have sticky note pads all over the house so when I get an awesome idea I can jot it down and then get to a computer when I can.

My best time is first thing in the morning, when my brain is fresh (ha) and I’ve gotten kids and husband off to school. I down the all-important cup (gallon) of tea and off I go. I typically write things all at once, rarely do I stop in the middle and come back. It’s just that getting started…well… I play with my dogs. I eat. I surf the net. I procrastinate… I also suck at editing. In other words, I often don’t do it.

What I like about writing? Anyone can do it. Just be true to yourself. Keep it real. Write about what you know and don’t try to be what you aren’t. Even if ONE person reads what you write (thanks, Mom!) it’s worth it. It can teach you so much about life.

Bio:  Marj Hatzell isn’t a writer but she plays one on TV. She’s a Domestic Engineer, Total Babe, and SAHM of two boys with Autism, ADHD and a variety of other acronyms. Marj was picked last for dodge ball in grade school, was a band geek (she played the flute, and one time, at band camp), and prefers dogs to people, which means she has STELLAR social skills. Marj can be bribed to do anything with potatoes and/or bacon. Usually both. Marj goes to eleven and also? 42. You can find her at her non-paying day job, the wildly unsuccessful blog The Domestic Goddess, on Twitter and on Facebook. She also has a not-so-new and definitely-not-successful blog at The Crazy Dog Lady and a Facebook page.

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Want more WHEN DO YOU WRITE? Come back on Thursday! For past guest writers, go here.


5 thoughts on “When Do You Write? MARJ HATZELL

  1. Ha! Playing with my dogs is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate too. Because dogs need lots of love and attention, so I’m not being lazy or avoiding writing, I’m being a super awesome dog owner. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  2. Remind me to never get a dog then, Jocelyn! I definitely don’t need any more reason to procrastinate!

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