Thursday, October 21, 2010
What was the Defining Moment in Your Writing Career?
I am a Writer!
a guest post by Stephanie J. Gates
I am a writer. I AM a writer. I am a WRITER.
I write this because it helps me claim what is rightfully mine. I sometimes have difficulty owning the title of writer because somewhere stuck in my head is this definition of a writer as some lofty, unattainable position.
I can only be a writer if I’m famous, or if my profession says that I’m a writer (screenwriter, playwright, speech writer etc.) And I don’t know where this thinking comes from or why it’s been so hard to dislodge it from my brain. Even though I have published pieces, and I’ve taught writing to both adults and children ownership escaped me until now.
Only recently have I moved into the home of the writer; before that I was merely a renter passing through the house but not quite settling into the space. But what’s especially weird is that I’ve lived in this house for as long as I can remember; I just didn’t own it.
My friends and family describe me as a writer, and sometimes it still sounds strange to my ears. My oldest childhood friend can still remember the story I wrote in sixth grade about an upside down world. In eighth grade I took second place in a citywide essay contest. I find writing in everything. I’m always looking, listening for the story, for something to write about. So, I am a writer. I write, rewrite and write again. In my head, on paper, on the computer I am always composing.
I am a writer because it is what I do.
Pen and Prosper scribes, when did you KNOW that you were a writer? Was it with your first byline? Your first paid assignment? Or the moment you felt the inescapable rush of penning your thoughts for public view? Do tell...
Stephanie J. Gates is an educator and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications.
Publishing credits include: Being Single Magazine, N'DIGO, Mahogany Magazine, and Black Eye Peas for the Soul.