And you are?
I earned my master’s in fine arts for creative writing in 2003.
It would seem that those two ideas should be in one sentence. I’m one of those women from a young age who loved writing poetry, short stories and watched in awe as friends became enmeshed in a world of words. After all, mine was just a “hobby.” They were Writers. I passed up opportunities to write for publication because I didn’t feel I was good enough.
Then I enrolled for my master’s in creative writing, because it was something I thought I had to do to call myself a Writer. I graduated with a draft of a novel and the belief that I would take publishing by storm. While fellow graduates managed to get their books published, I wallowed in the self-pity of remaining “unpublished,” never able to quite find an agent who would take on this dewy-eyed Writer.
I landed at the local newspaper and started having a byline in the paper and in its magazine. I freelanced on the side. I was sheepish about it. I met up with a friend, whose book had just been published. At one point, as she gushed about her success and briefly asked about my job, she asked if I still considered myself a Writer.
I thought back to all that I had written since graduation. I multiplied that to the readership of the publications I wrote for and responded that I did. However, her comment stung.
I realized that I consider myself—and always have considered myself—a writer. I may never become a Writer. But I am okay with that. For a year, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer. I write blogs, and for the newspaper, the local women’s magazine and an area business journal. In my spare time, I read my children’s fiction to my oldest children. Their passion for my fiction is endearing—and rewarding in itself.
And, while my unpublished novel and children’s stories may collect dust long after I am long gone, each week, it never fails. I meet someone at my children’s school or at the dentist’s office who will say, “I just saw that article you wrote. I didn’t know you are a writer.”
I look them in the eye and say, “Yes, I am—and so much more!”
Elizabeth King Humphrey is a creativity coach and the moderator/main blogger for CoastalCarolinaMoms. She is also a freelance writer, columnist and blogs for wilmaville. To have the opportunity to listen to read her children's stories, stop by prior to bedtime most any night of the week.