When I first decided I would pursue publication and declared myself a writer, I began the process of figuring out how to do that. I am a teacher by trade, specifically a teacher with a Masters Degree in the Teaching of Writing. BUT there is a vast chasm between the world of writing in education and the world of writing in publication. I knew that there would be a learning curve in moving from one to the other and I knew that I would not be sitting in a classroom or working with an adviser who would plot the journey with me. As I was researching and gathering resources on the business side of writing, evaluating my strengths and areas for growth in my craft, and making progress on my stories, I was also thinking about starting a blog. I’d toyed with the idea of a blog for a long time, but was never sure what it would look like. I love the idea of connecting with people through writing (my strongest form of communication) and being involved in a collaborative community. It was suggested to me as I was processing all of this (many thanks to my husband, my favorite collaborator) that my blog be about the journey of being a writer and all that it entails. That in the blog I could share what I learn, where I falter, where I succeed, how I goal plan, the resources I find, the answers and questions I have and try to answer, and everything and anything else that will happen as I go along. With the steady reassurance from my Tech-savvy husband that he would be there for support and his gentle nudge in purchasing my domain name (thank you again my love!), and the blog was born!
Step one in the process of becoming a writer- declare yourself a writer. I used to tell people tentatively that I wanted to write a novel. Someday. That maybe someday I would share my writing. Or pursue publication. The problem with talking about your dreams that way, is that you’re not committing yourself to them. Hesitantly stating a dream makes it an imprecise and ambiguous goal at best. Firmly declaring your dream, setting it as an unyielding goal you WILL commit to is the foundation you build on. I AM a writer in the pursuit of writing my stories, bettering my craft, and making my way to publication. That’s the fist step and it is a difficult one. It takes courage to say that out loud. Don’t underestimate the importance and power of that step.
I am a young adult magical realism and fantasy author. If you want a good primer on what magical realism is, this is a great article explaining it. What is Magical Realism? It’s funny though, part of that declaration, the young adult author part, is fluid in my mind. It’s fluid because when I write, I don’t confine my characters to what they can and cannot do in my stories. I let them grow and change and live their experiences and in the end they tell me if they are middle grade, young adult, or new adult characters. Some interesting reads on that are “New Adult”: The Next Big Thing? and The Key Differences Between Young Adult vs Middle Grade.
What is your declaration as a writer? What genre and age group do you write for or is part of it fluid for you too?