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So You Think You’re A Writer

  September 15

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In this post, I alluded that my dream was to be paid as a writer and that in a very (very) small way, it is starting to come true.

In many ways, I’ve always considered myself a writer being a very sensitive and introspective person, always drawn to pouring my heart out on a piece of paper (or angsty teenage blog or current blog!)
When I was a child I wrote a book complete with illustrations and later, my brother and I made a family newspaper with different stories about our activities in it.
Life kept going, and I kept writing. In the 8th grade, a friend asked me to fix the first paragraph of a paper he wrote to make it sound better. I did, and he got an A and was so thankful. I think it was then that I realized the power of editing, of helping others express themselves through the written word.
This passion sort of dimmed in college and graduate school because writing was ingrained in every facet of my being as a history major. Academic writing was extremely challenging for me. Now I realize, it’s because it was kind of boring. I struggled with the concept of writing for a specific peer group, in that case a small group of fellow historians. I thought, gosh! wouldn’t it be better if people actually enjoyed reading this? Maybe it’s just me? It took every ounce of discipline and energy I could muster to finish my final graduate school project. I tried to write it in a fun and interesting way. I still think only 5 people have read it – my graduate committee, my husband, and myself (although I do think my parents will read it when they get a chance).
Still, I don’t knock my education what. so. ever. Graduate school was perhaps the most challenging, most rewarding experience I’ve had. I had excellent professors in college and grad school. I learned extreme self discipline and did enjoy many of the abstract ideas and deep thinking that it brought forth.
But I think I enjoy writing about life better.
So here’s what I’ve decided to do about it:
I’ve joined a writing group for the first time. Every two weeks, we’re going to submit articles for editing. It’s invaluable to have 10 other writers read your work – to spend time out of their lives to critique you. This writing group is made up of women with varying careers and jobs in different locations. Some have kids; some don’t. Some are lawyers, some are copywriters, some are stay-at-home moms, and one of them lives on a Caribbean Island. 😉
I’ve also searched for paid gigs. Problogger.net/Jobs is a great resource for anyone who is interested.
I recently got a contract to be a contributor writer for The Budget Fashionista and would love any support or comments over on the posts on that site if you read it.
Here are links to my most recent articles:
Here are links to other recent articles and guest posts:
Stand Out In An Interview for $10 or Less (scroll down to the bottom of this website to see it)
Also, I am still running my editing and interview prep business:
And, you can now find a “Hire Me” page on this very blog:
And to round things out, a small story:
At my wedding, my wedding photographer asked me if I still wrote. It was kind of a weird question, because I had not seen him in a long time (he’s been taking my pictures since I was a baby). I gave him a funny look and said, “Sort of, why do you ask?”
He said, “I remember thinking how unusual you were as a kid. You came into my studio with a pad of paper and a pen and wrote while you were waiting, when other kids brought game boys, etc.” I don’t even remember doing that, y’all, but it totally sounds like me.
I hope the next time someone asks me if I still write, I can confidently look at them and say, “Yes.”
How are you going about fulfilling your dreams? Or, are they still in the back of your head just waiting for the right time? Ever had a dream come true? I want to hear about it.
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6 responses to “So You Think You’re A Writer

  1. awesome! congrats on your “gig!” i’m so excited you joined a writing group! they really are a great place to get insight into your work and meet other writers. LOVE that you have your own editing business. my dorky dream is to be an editor. i write for a prom and pageant dress store. which isn’t my dream type of writing, but it’s writing so i can’t complain too much!

  2. I love that you are getting back into writing for yourself because I’ve been struggling with the exact same thing! I think in middle and high school I wrote two novels (though, I’ve reread them, and they make me wince now!) but in college… academic writing sucked it out of me.

    In an effort to get back into it, I printed out a September calendar page for myself, and every time I get some writing done, I put a sticker on the day and the word count. Sometimes I’m really disappointed in myself, but sometimes I’m really proud!

  3. I’d sort of planned on writing a book during my forced hiatus from the world of work. Except that I got sucked into blogging, which I spend more time doing than I’d planned. I might need to reevaluate how I schedule my days!

  4. Dear Cat,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it.

    This particular post was especially powerful because it connects us further.

    I am a hopeless DIYer (although you are far more talented), but my true passion is writing and I too often fail to give this dream the attention it deserves. I too have resolved to change this and find myself writing more (on my own blog and for other people) and I am taking a writing class as well.

    I am glad to have connected and can’t wait to keep following you.
    If you have the time between blogging, writing and crafting, come visit me on A Mother Seeing. 🙂
    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking A Mother Seeking…

    Best,
    Meredith

  5. Yay! I’m glad you’re finding great outlets for writing. I love it too – it’s my favorite part of my “real” job. And you definitely have a talent! Keep it up, lady 🙂

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