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Sunday, February 01, 2009

 

And you are?

I am a writer.

I earned my master’s in fine arts for creative writing in 2003.

It would seem that those two ideas should be in one sentence. I’m one of those women from a young age who loved writing poetry, short stories and watched in awe as friends became enmeshed in a world of words. After all, mine was just a “hobby.” They were Writers. I passed up opportunities to write for publication because I didn’t feel I was good enough.

Then I enrolled for my master’s in creative writing, because it was something I thought I had to do to call myself a Writer. I graduated with a draft of a novel and the belief that I would take publishing by storm. While fellow graduates managed to get their books published, I wallowed in the self-pity of remaining “unpublished,” never able to quite find an agent who would take on this dewy-eyed Writer.

I landed at the local newspaper and started having a byline in the paper and in its magazine. I freelanced on the side. I was sheepish about it. I met up with a friend, whose book had just been published. At one point, as she gushed about her success and briefly asked about my job, she asked if I still considered myself a Writer.

I thought back to all that I had written since graduation. I multiplied that to the readership of the publications I wrote for and responded that I did. However, her comment stung.

I realized that I consider myself—and always have considered myself—a writer. I may never become a Writer. But I am okay with that. For a year, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer. I write blogs, and for the newspaper, the local women’s magazine and an area business journal. In my spare time, I read my children’s fiction to my oldest children. Their passion for my fiction is endearing—and rewarding in itself.

And, while my unpublished novel and children’s stories may collect dust long after I am long gone, each week, it never fails. I meet someone at my children’s school or at the dentist’s office who will say, “I just saw that article you wrote. I didn’t know you are a writer.”

I look them in the eye and say, “Yes, I am—and so much more!”

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a creativity coach and the moderator/main blogger for CoastalCarolinaMoms. She is also a freelance writer, columnist and blogs for wilmaville. To have the opportunity to listen to read her children's stories, stop by prior to bedtime most any night of the week.

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9 Comments:

Blogger sundar said...

I like your spirit...

to still admit that your are a writer...

Keep rocking !!

2:30 AM  
Blogger Ruth J. Hartman said...

Great article. Loved it!

Ruth

4:18 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

"I am a writer." What a fantastic statement to make. Magic happens when you "own it," your life suddenly fits those words. Much happy writing to you!

7:37 AM  
Blogger Maddie James said...

I walk in your shoes, everyday affirming to myself that I am a writer...even after having published in various genre, fiction and non-fiction, for 20 years. My struggle is the split personality of day job vs. writer and the balance of the two. We just need to keep affirming! Good luck to you.

8:11 AM  
Blogger MP said...

Welcome to The Muffin blog team, Elizabeth. I love your first post!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

Welcome, Elizabeth! I think, at some point, we all have difficulty owning the writer title. But, you definitely are a writer, so it's yours to claim! =)

10:39 AM  
Anonymous jennifer said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I really appreciate your honesty as much as your conviction.
Keep writing and keep side-stepping the trap of justification.
Publications don't make you a writer, neither do good reviews, or bad ones. Passion and commitment are the cornerstones of the writing life. Remain guided by your inner light and you'll be just fine.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Welcome, Elizabeth!

Great post! This quote stood out in particular to me: "I passed up opportunities to write for publication because I didn’t feel I was good enough."

I know a lot of writers go through that very same thing, even though we don't often admit it. You'd be surprised at how many opportunities I've given to some writers but had them pass on it. But if we don't try, we'll never know.

Writing is definitely about persistence. I would say that's one of the most important characteristics a writer should have. We are sensitive types by nature and the only way to toughen up our outer shell is to get out there and do it. ;o)

Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad you're a part of The Muffin's team!

Hugs,

Ang

4:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth King Humphrey said...

Thank you, all, for welcoming me and I'm excited to be a part of such a super team, as well.

Thank you,

Elizabeth

5:32 PM  

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