I believe in the power of women’s voices. A year and a half ago, I signed up for a writing class, yearning to put pen to paper but terrified that I’d have nothing of interest to say. Eighteen months later I can’t stop writing. I have filled five notebooks with wild stories I didn’t know I had in me, memories of my childhood I’d forgotten until they came flowing from my pen, and beautiful moments with my husband and children that I’ve stolen from the vacuum of time by the sheer audacity of writing them down.
I believe in the power of perseverance. This past year has been about putting myself out there to fail, and miraculously staying afloat. Each time I felt nervous and insecure, burdened by that self-doubt mascot screaming boring, mundane and trite in my ear, I forced myself to tune him out until he went away. I joined offline and online writing classes, submitted articles for publication and applied for writing positions. I was rejected, ignored, overlooked, but I persevered, telling myself that the squeaky wheel eventually prevails. Each time I received a rejection email from a magazine, I submitted two more pieces.
How do you define success? I’m still certainly not raking in the big bucks by any stretch of the imagination. But I have cashed a few little checks as the NJ Savvy Source City Editor and from my BlogHer ads. One of my NJ Moms Blog pieces was picked up by the McClatchy Tribune wire and was published in local papers throughout the country. Next month the Parent Paper will publish one of my pieces about becoming a Jersey Girl. The editor asked me what I would like the byline to read. When I told her to say that I am an aspiring freelance writer, she corrected me. She told me, “You are not an aspiring freelance writer. You are a freelance writer.”
Her correction has become my new mantra. Every day I say to myself, “I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.” Occasionally, I even say it aloud. Just telling one other person that I am a writer is enough to define me, to propel me past my previous definition of, “I used to be in marketing, but now I’m a stay at home mom.”
I believe in the power of that one little sentence. I am a writer. I don’t know where it will take me, but I know I’m enjoying the journey.
Today’s Sunday Scribblings prompt is “I believe…”