Say It Loudly and Proudly…You ARE a Writer

fountain pen on white paper

I read a couple of blog posts from fellow writers this past week talking about their hesitancies in calling themselves writers or authors, even though both of them have had works published.

The main thoughts that ran through my head were, “Well, of course, you’re a writer. You’ve written books, published them, and continue to write. Why wouldn’t you call yourself a writer?”

As I understood their explanations, when they were asked what they do, they weren’t confident enough in themselves due to the social stigma of saying “I’m a writer.”

If they were to say they were writers, they’d often get questions like, “Have you been published?” or worse, “Yes, but what’s your real job.”  So some fellow authors would respond with falling back on their other day job, such as working in an office or a stay-at-home mom.

But they came to the realization that they ARE worthy of the title of writer. They ARE WRITERS/AUTHORS. It’s part of who they are. It’s a part of who all of us writers are.

It’s an extension of ourselves. Our hearts, souls, experiences, and unique social and cultural backgrounds. We share this indirectly and sometimes directly in our writings, and it’s a good thing.

writing on the grass

I have to tell you, saying I am a writer has been easy. It is one area in my life where I have complete confidence.

I knew I could write in my teens and early twenties, even though I lacked a lot of  knowledge on how to write in-depth characters, totally believable plots, and point of view (POV).

Even after I quit writing from around 1997 to 2014, I never thought I couldn’t write. I’d just put it on the back burner due to putting business college, a job, my marriage, and then my children along with my husband as my top priority (as I felt I should be).

I didn’t really think too much about picking up a pen and scrawling across a blank sheet of paper then because few ideas sprung up.

Life works that way, I think. Things happen when they’re supposed to.

sunset orange

Ideas began to sprout in the summer and early fall of 2014 before I registered for online college to get a degree in Creative Writing and English.

The ideas did start popping up when I knew I could make my schooling experience all about writing stories, all about a future in what has always been in me since I was a child.

That flame has never been totally doused.

Playing certain sports and writing stories were the only two things I had total confidence in myself throughout my childhood, adulthood, up to the present day.

My confidence grew through four years in college. All the negative thoughts I had of myself that I’d heard from people throughout my life lessened, became small, insignificant. I began to see myself much more positively.

proud woman

Yes, I am smart. Yes, I can write very well. Yes, I am a writer. It’s part of who I am. I’m thankful I’ve not felt insecure, scared, or apprehensive in telling people who ask me what I do.

Even if I’d never had anything published, I’m still an author. It’s my job. It’s my main focus every day in the midst of my family and life of faith.

Have you had the confidence to tell others you are a writer? If you’re writing on a regular basis. If it’s your passion. If it’s part of who you are, YOU ARE A WRITER. Wear that badge with honor and pride.

 

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Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!

 

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My Muse, My Inspiration

muse of wonderment and writing

I’ve discovered my muse. Her writings inspire me and give me mental motivation in my ability to write these days.  Not only that, she writes about topics and relationships that I have great interest in and have wanted to write about.  The muse is author Jodi Picoult.  You may have read at least one or two of her books if you like women’s fiction.  I wonder if she realizes what an inspiration she is to fellow writers.

The last novel I read of hers was the best.  It’s called House Rules.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Loved it!

house rules novel cover

Synopsis:

When your son can’t look you in the eye . . . does that mean he’s guilty?

Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.

But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.

Any time I read her works, ideas flow from my mind onto the paper freely without constraints, and the writing isn’t half bad.  In fact, it often comes out beautifully!  Kudos that I’ve found my muse, my inspiration for aiding me in my creative writing endeavor.

champagne glasses

But when I’m not reading her, when I’m reading other authors’ books, my creative writing isn’t as rich.

I have heard that depending on the type of writing style and its brilliance or less brilliant form, voice, structure, character development, and flow of whatever authors you read can and will affect how good and creative your own writing will be.  Should I continue reading others’ books and settle for a mediocre spark of creativity? Perhaps I’m learning something else from these authors’ writings than from my muse’s writings, that can help my writing techniques in some way.  I just haven’t discovered what that is yet.  If and when I do, I’ll write a blog post on it.

Therefore, I won’t stop reading other authors’ works that I like.  After all, I do know that my first novel was written before I’d read anything by Picoult, so I know I can accomplish this.  I just need to stay motivated and continue to practice my writing and continue reading the genre in which I am interested and in which I write.  That’s part of being a writer.

idea writing

Incidentally, as I’d written this, new ideas popped into my head on additional dialogue and descriptions (in which I’d turned into written revisions) to my first novel, Passage of Promise.  I’ve been revising and deepening its protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters’ relationships for the past week so that I can send it back to my editor in a couple weeks to re-edit and give any other suggestions.

Wow.  Who would have thought a blog post on writing abilities via one’s muse and the concerns about lesser creative abilities when not reading their works would lead to ideas sprouting like pea shoots in my head.  I think the creative writing of my muse lingers in my mind like the sweet smell of incense from Orthodox Church services I attend that cling to my clothes and hair, and keeps God in my thoughts for the week.

So, what are the solutions to this struggle of the muse and the lesser inspired readings to aid me in my writing?  Well, I will…

  1. Continue reading works from Picoult.
  2. Take daily walks. They give me peace, spur creative ideas, and nostalgic memories.
  3. Write, if not daily, every other day (I try, people).
  4. Do other creative activities. I’ve read they help spark ideas for your writing.
  5. Try not to worry about losing my writing abilities.  I’ve got to stay steadfast and believe in my writing.  And truly, writing is in me (has been since my childhood) and part of who I am.

Who’s your writing muse that helps inspire you?

 

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