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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Journey Documented

So for those of you who have just found this finally-now-public-blog lemme bring you up to speed (although I still hope you go back through the posts and catch up).

My name is Stephanie and I am a wannabe writer. I think I always have been as evidenced by the tote in the back of my closet. It's full of old journals. I started one 19 years ago when darling hubby and I married. I think I am on my 12th one now. I've always felt the need to document my life. I"m not sure why except maybe I was born to write.

So I began to piddle a little with writing about 7 years ago (I think) with our local newspaper. I submitted a press release, then an small article then pitched a series. I wrote everyday for The Review Atlas for about 2 years. And I found I really liked it.

But a change in the staff and a couple of kids forced me on a hiatus.

Fast forward a few years. I was reading through that same paper when there in black and white was a request for any locals who might want to contribute regularly to the opinion page. I shot off an email and now I'm 2 years into a regular, weekly column entitled Practical Parenting. I"m published!

I can no longer say I am a wannabe.

My love for the written word has be returned to me. I love writing my articles which inspired me to step up my writing for our personal website (www.sikorski7.webs.com) which landed me an opportunity to do some writing for the Women's Development Department of Next Level International (www.nliemerge.com) which brought me a few compliments.

"I loved your blog this week"
"Your article was great! I cut it out and sent it to my daughter!"
"Thanks for your sharing that story, it really inspired me."

And I got to thinking, if I love writing and you like reading it well...maybe we have something here.

I've never taken a writing course. I stink at grammar and I hope my incorrect use of punctuation isn't embarrassing me. And yet I've decided to try.

Really, kinda try. So I began doing a little research. I actually gooogled, "How do I become an author?". And that's how I began.

I started researching queries and freelance opportunities, publishers versus self publication ... and found that it can be an intensive process. Simultaneously I read Don Millers book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and was captured by the book's theme that I have the opportunity -with my daily life- to create a meaningful story. I wanted to live a better story but I also felt compelled to write one as well (thus this blog title).

I made a conscious decision to no longer think about writing to actually, writing. To stop telling folks when they suggested I put a book together, "Yea! I should!" to "Yes! I am!".

One afternoon, I perused my library shelves for books that would help me on my journey and that's when I came across a book entitled; Writing Life's Stories, How to make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays and Life into Literature.

Now I am working through that book. It's very insightful. I've already learned a lot. I've had it checked out for six months and until the library stops allowing me to renew it I'll keep working through it.

One of the book's first assignments was to spend an afternoon in the library looking at first lines. While walking up and down the shelves, randomly pulling books for the assignment I got the idea to document my writing journey. I thought:

1. blogging about it would make me stick to the task
2. I dig journalling anyway, so it seemed like a fun idea
3. my research said that publishers are looking for bloggers who have a web presence and
4. if I ever really did get published wouldn't this be a great way to document how it all began (for future book queries, naturally).

So here we are. You're up to speed. 
Now everyday, as encouraged by Bill Roorbach (who's now my Facebook friend, by the way) I read, write and work through the writing assignments as outlined in his book.
This is my journey documented.
It is my story.


2 comments:

  1. The words "It's about time" come to mind...
    Glad to see you doing this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Stephanie! This is all great to know! I don't know at what point I will consider myself to have crossed the line from "wanna-be" writer to actual writer... articles and ad copy for websites just bring in a paycheck and rarely have my name attached to them. And while I am super excited to be ghostwriting a book, it stinks to know that my name won't be on it when it is all said and done. Baby steps though, right?

    I'll be adding you to my Google Reader list. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up!

    ReplyDelete

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