I am in my late 50’s right now and have been writing something ever since I was in grade school. I wrote poems and short stories and people told me they were good. However I didn’t think of myself as a writer.
My recent research has told me that if you write, anything, you ARE a writer!
This thought was shocking to me. Me, a writer? I sure wanted to be, but how could this be?
However I spent some time to reflect on this and I believe they are right. I may not have been paid for any of my writing, but I did have a poem published in an anthology and a mention in a contest even if I didn’t become one of the top winners, I WAS mentioned. Plus I am writing all the time. So yes, I AM a writer.
This blog will be a way to post what I am up to and to capture my progress as I continue my journey of becoming a real published writer.
I have entered several contests over the years. The first time I sent a short story to a magazine I was in my teens and it was rejected. I was broken-hearted and the rejection to me was a failure. I couldn’t take it and after that no one ever saw my writing. I wrote for me only.
When I was in my 30’s I entered a contest for “Writer’s Digest” magazine. That is where I got the mention, although it wasn’t a win, it gave me just a little more confidence. I also wrote some poetry one of which was published, but in an anthology which I believe is sort of like a vanity press type of deal. But seeing it in print gave me another boost. So I have entered some of my poetry and another short story in the last 10 years. The rejection stings, but it didn’t result in the same feelings of failure. My skin is thickening.
I enter NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) every year, however I never make the full 50,000 words that are required. It doesn’t have to be a polished novel. Just write, and keep writing for a full month. After that you can edit and proofread if you want to do something with it. If you are interested just go to www.nanowrimo.org and check it out. I just found out that they are now doing it in June too. The original was in November. How about that. This is June. Maybe I should see about entering again and make it a goal to finish this time.
I know that professional writers make a time to write every day and stick to it. It takes discipline and I am sorely lacking that right now. Perhaps I can work on that discipline and make it a goal to write so much per day. Now how long should I make it. Since I am just starting out I should probably make it for about an hour to begin with. An hour is not that long.
I am researching writing prompts. I know they exist and just might be the boost I need to get started writing again.
Here’s to my brand new life, the writing life!
Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh
-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses
-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems
http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).