Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Sometimes I’ve been asked…Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? My mind immediately thinks 1,000 things and I manage to cobble together a response something like, ”I wrote when I was younger and then I picked it up again when I was in my 50’s and thought it sounded like a good idea to put together a book.” All of this is true, but I don’t often have time to elaborate so I thought I would here.
My earliest memory of writing poetry (or what I called it) was my freshman year in high school. I was in a fun English class and my teacher liked to play Carole King’s “Tapestry” album, show us Shakespeare and regale funny stories about her neighbor’s parrot. I was encouraged to write by my teachers and fellow students. In high school I was sensitive, emotionally insecure and socially awkward. Poetry helped give me a voice that would listen and not judge.
I went to college and enrolled in Journalism classes. I felt I’d found members of my tribe at the college newspaper. We stayed up late with strong coffee and supported each other with every story. I didn’t write poetry, too busy trying to figure out how to be an adult.
After college, I wandered and found jobs that kept me busy in my 20’s. I moved from the Midwest to the South and back to the Midwest to get married and start my family in my 30’s. My early 40’s were a blur, but when I was 45, my husband died suddenly and I was a single parent in a flash. It’s almost as if I had a life “before his death” and “after his death”. The Phoenix is used as a metaphor often – burning to the ground and being reborn. Phoenix, warrior – these are terms that apply. But in this unexpected period of change, I picked up the pen again and started writing again, trying to figure out who I was.
I found a mentor for awhile and he helped point me in the right direction so I could find my voice, but after awhile he wanted me to write short stories and I just didn’t want to, so we parted ways. When I connected with my current mentor, it was when my poetry started to flourish and I truly found my voice. I thought it was a nice idea to write enough poems for a book, but my mentor insisted, “At the end of this, you will have a book that represents your emotional journey.” I had absolutely no idea what that really meant and what would happen
when I released my book into the world.
More to come on this, but for now, I want to make sure whoever you are, that you know you’re supposed to be reading this…
Listen to yourself and believe that you are enough and lovable.
Dream early and often and do not give up on those dreams.
Let’s talk again soon.