December Sell-a-Bration #8: I’ve Started Calling Myself A Writer

By Jennifer Crain

This year, I started a writing career. After wondering what path to take for what I will downplay as simply a very long time, I actually did what had always been in the back of my mind and took a writing class in the spring.

Now I have an open invitation to write for a local food newsletter (my second article will be published in December), one of my articles was published last month in a regional parenting magazine (three other publications across the country have contacted me expressing interest), I’m on the cusp of submitting a second parenting article and (fingers crossed) a national glossy magazine contacted me recently to fact-check one of the tips I submitted back in May. Somebody pinch me: I’m writing!

I also joined a virtual writing group formed by some of my classmates (thank you Michelle and Mary Jo!) where I check in several times per week. I started blogging ( in early September as a way to encourage myself to write more often and “find my voice,” as they say. And so far, it’s working. I’ve written over 50 posts on a variety of topics.

But my favorite accomplishment is this one: I’ve started calling myself a writer. Even in casual conversation with people I don’t know very well. I figure if I say it out loud, I’m more likely to believe it myself.

I did this while working full-time as a stay-at-home mom of my not-quite-old-enough-for-kindergarten daughter and my 21-month-old son, whose favorite word is still (with hands outstretched) up.

Sometimes I feel unsure of myself, like I’m just a busy mom with a little bit of time to dabble in writing. Or I feel discouraged that my trying to break into freelancing is ill-timed with the downturn in the economy.

I perk up and feel motivated again when I read the stories of other writer mamas (like those who read this blog) and successful authors who started out where I am today.
Molly Gloss, a Northwest author, is one of them. For her, motherhood was the incubator where her novelist self was born. She says, “…my life as a writer began with motherhood. Motherhood isn’t trivial; its activities may be trivial, but they put you in touch, deeply and immediately and daily, with the great issues of Life: heavy duty things like Love and Loss, Growth and Tolerance and Dignity, Control and Conflict and Power—which are the issues, incidentally, that make serious novels. I might have become a writer eventually without first having become a mother, but it’s hard for me to imagine it.”

If I have any advice it would be to read the page “On Becoming A Writer” on her website ( and find other inspiring stories to drill into your brain or paste on the bathroom mirror. Let them remind you to keep writing as we round out the year and head into 2009.


5 Responses to “December Sell-a-Bration #8: I’ve Started Calling Myself A Writer”

  1. 1 Kristy December 8, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Thank you for the inspiration! I also started writing this year, and am a mother of two. I now call myself a writer, but sometimes with a disclaimer of just starting out. I have the same doubts you described, so it was refreshing to hear someone else saying the same thing.

    I wish you luck, and congrats!

    Kristy Lund

  2. 2 Jennifer December 8, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Great thoughts and a great link. Consider me inspired. Actually, this is just what I needed to hear today. As of yet, I have not referred to myself as a writer. My new goal for the week: say it out loud.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. 3 anniegirl1138 December 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I have too. It’s been freeing.

  4. 4 writerinspired December 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Great Job, Jenni! Christina, what a wonderful way to give back to your students, by letting them speak out! My success story will be on its way to you shortly!
    Mary Jo : )

  5. 5 kate December 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    What an excellent post! I like your approach and writing style, and am encouraged and inspired by your story. Congrats on your new writing career! I, too, started blogging in September in order to find my voice and *force* myself to write more often – and get used to having people read and comment on it! I hope to take one of the Writer Mama courses in 2009 to get more rigorous practice. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy checking out your blog as well as Molly Gloss’s. Thanks!

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