I Am a Writer

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…”

13 Responses to I Am a Writer

  1. >Thank you for sharing your process! You’re making it happen!The amazing power of thought!
    Let me try..
    I, am a writer!

  2. >It took me ages to be able to say “I am a writer”. I’m happy with where I’m at now, and it sounds like you’re doing really well. Congratulations for taking that first step and believing in yourself, and also for persevering. Resilience really is the name of the game.

  3. >You just made me cry and laugh at the same time. The way you put it, “setting myself up to fail and staying afloat” really hit me because of the insecurites I have in me about my writing. I definitely don’t tell not even ONE person I’m a writer because I still feel like this SAHM, but nothing else.

    You inspire me girl!

  4. >Congratulations to my online WRITER friend! Good for you. I think this is what makes life worth living setting unbelievable goals and even better achieving them. Good for you! I’m proud of you!

    I was scared to death to begin my online schooling but after my first semester I realized I am way more capable than I gave myself credit for. I am determined now to obtain my degree!

    Thanks so much for inspiring us and reminding us that we need to keep challenging ourselves…

  5. >Hello,

    I’m here via Sun. Scribblings. It feel friendly and energetic here from your header to your blog post. 🙂

    Terrific post. What a testament to perseverance and following your dream! Congratulations on your honors and successes. I did something similar a few years ago in regard to pursuing art beyond a hobby. I remember all to well learning how to feel comfortable saying (and believing) “I am an artist!”

    I love to write, too, but that goal has not been pursued as zealously. You’re an inspiration and obviously a talented writer!

    Happy 2009 to you and yours!

  6. >I really needed to see this, to remind myself that I, too, am a writer. I’ve been letting that conviction slip away a bit with all of my worries about work and supporting my family. You *are* a writer. So am I. 🙂

  7. >Every time I read Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ I am drawn to the line “This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: MUST I write?”

    Yes, as a writer, there is a certain death that comes with NOT writing.

    *sigh* I am going to read that book again tonight.

  8. >So awesome. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I must get back to it myself. Maybe I’ll start chanting the mantra to myself…

  9. >Good for you, Vanessa. You are inspiring. Maybe one day I will be where you are. (provided I ever find time to write consistently….). Well done and happy 2009 to you!

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