Friday Speak Out: A Revelation!, Guest Post by Jennifer Flaten

Friday, October 30, 2009
A Revelation!

by Jennifer Flaten

A few days ago, I finished my usual day of writing. I was proud of myself I completed almost all of my to-do items. This is a big deal for a procrastinator like me.

One item scratched off my list, a short profile piece on Patsy Cline.

As I clicked send on the piece, I realized I really enjoyed writing it. Not only did I learn about Patsy, but also I thought I managed to make the profile interesting, not dry.

It was fun and I looked forward to doing another one.

Later as I was telling my husband about my day and talking animatedly about my work, I realized just how much I liked what I did.

It was a wonderful feeling. Too bad, it had been missing for so long.

Prior to writing, full time I worked as an office manager/administrative assistant.

I loved what I did. My heart went pitter-patter at the thought of spending the day wrestling bank statements into submission and making journal entries.

I knew I was good at what I did I always came home with sense of accomplishment.

Then one day I was laid off. In an instant both my job and identity vanished along with my steady paycheck.

I turned to my writing which up until that time, was a little sideline that I did for fun and spending money. Now I was trying to turn my writing into my full time job.

I spent a lot of time building relationships with clients, looking for gigs and writing pieces that paid money but I wasn’t enjoying myself.

There was this little voice was whispering in my ear that I wasn’t a “real” writer. I worried about “making” it, about being a “real” writer and being good so I could get more work.

I wasn’t having fun. Each day I just worked away with no sense of love or feelings of accomplishment.

Even publication didn’t lessen my feelings. If I was published I still worried it wasn’t good enough. I wondered would a real writer read it and think Pffft who gave this woman a keyboard.

I couldn‘t shake the worry. I was drowning in what ifs-what if this isn’t good enough, what if this leads nowhere.

I still felt like I was pretending to be a writer.

Then came that fateful day, when I finished a piece that I really had fun writing that I knew was good piece.

I realized that-Hey, I am pretty good at this and I like it.

This came in the same week that I had some other small, yet exciting, offers come my way.

All of sudden I knew that I really liked what I was doing. I wasn’t just pretending to be a writer I was a writer.

Jennifer lives with her husband, twin daughters and son in Wisconsin. She is a freelance writer. She has found the kids provide and endless source of amusing and not so amusing topics. When she is not in front of the computer, she and the kids can be found baking, cooking or playing outside. Read her work at Baby Chapters,, Examiner, and Grubstreet.


Do you want to reach WOW’s audience? We welcome short posts (500 words or less) from writers just like you! You can include your bio, pic, and links to your website/blog for promotion. Our only requirement is that your post be about women and writing. Send your Friday “Speak Out!” post to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration.



Margo Dill said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I think we can all feel like this, especially when we have to start "hustling" (as my husband calls it) for writing jobs. What I love about freelancing is that if I feel like working 7 to 4 one day I can. The next day if I want to work 3 to 11, I can. And I can do it at home or a coffee shop or a hotel room in Florida. It doesn't matter. It has such freedom. Sometimes, I agree, the work doesn't thrill me, but I usually have one or two pieces that I am excited about and that I learned something about and I think, "Wow! I never knew that before." I also think I should start playing Trivial Pursuit again because I will be so much better at it. :)

Thanks again for sharing.

Angela Mackintosh said...

I wonder if it's in the air, but I've heard a lot of writers say the same thing lately. I know I've felt it too.

Recently, I was in a writing slump. I kept second guessing my writing for really no reason other than I had too much on my plate, too many deadlines, and simply felt uninspired. Then something just switched on. It was just like you said, Jennifer, I wrote a piece and liked it. I felt great that day! So I wrote again, for myself, what I wanted to write. I think that's important to do especially when you have so many other writing projects you have to do for work.

I'm glad you got your groove back! Thanks for sharing. :)

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Jennifer, I enjoyed reading your post and so glad you came to the revelation that yes, you are a writer. Continued success in all your future writing endeavors.

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