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 (http://www.writethejourney.wordpress.com) 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 (http://www.mollygloss.com/writer.html) 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.