Before I was a writer, I was a writer. I wrote as a child, making up all kinds of stories and performing plays for my family. I even charged my mom 10 cents for the popcorn she prepared for us.
Later, I became a journalist, and worked in public relations. I wrote news articles about the cultural events in Houston. I provided a calendar for the Daily Bulletin of what was playing in the theaters, exhibited in the museums, and festivals that were coming up. Because I needed a job that paid enough to cover my bills, I became a teacher of reading and writing. Wrote with my students and modeled writing for them.
But I never thought of myself as a writer. It was something I did as part of being a kid playing, a journalist reporting, a person promoting some event, or a teacher guiding learning. It was never something I consider an essential element of who I was.
The day I realized that being a writer was my core identity was when I met and connected with the people of the Houston Writers Guild. I began the journey of discovering and connecting to who I’ve always been. I went to conferences and networked with people who were passionate about writing. I learned about the industry and about the varied paths a person might take to getting work published.
And then, one day, I understood that I was not only a writer at the very core of my identity — that my voice and the stories that sought to come forth from me were in fact who I am — but that I wanted to be a working writer.
You see, a working writer is a writer that is actively engaged with writing, seeking to bring forth into the world the projects that need birthing. So, I stepped out of teaching and focused on writing as a profession. Got side tracked with publishing other authors, but that was a critical part to understand the journey for my own publication process, and it is a very rewarding part of my life in many ways.
This year, it’s time to put my writing front and center; to prioritize working on my projects and getting my books out into the world. Today, I can, with the full confidence of knowing what I was born to do and the security of understanding who I am, move my life in a balanced way towards fulfilling my purpose as a working writer.
Towards that goal, I have spent the first two weekends in January doing an intensive retreat to kick off my writing year. I’m also ready to enjoy and learn at the Houston Writers Guild’s Love Your Writing Seminar. It will take place on Saturday, February 18. Check it out if you are a writer. It’s a great place to get started on the 2023 road to birthing a legacy in words. www.houstonwritersguild.org