Editor’s Note: See Jane Write now publishes articles and personal essays by writers who identify as women, non-binary folks, and our allies. Learn more here.
By LaKisha Cargill
A few years back, I was a writer who did not write. I even wrote about it on my blog. I had several excuses, including not having the time, or so I claimed. I told myself that life was too busy for the luxury of just writing. Plus, I did not think receiving compensation for my writing could be a reality. The thrill of my first paid byline in college had become a faded memory despite receiving a free product or a gift card here and there over the years in exchange for an honest review on my blog.
Then things changed. A pandemic. A social reckoning. Me. And I thirsted for an outlet to share my voice. Watching the video of George Floyd was the catalyst for my hand to pick up a pen again and write. I began to write everything all the time. Poems. Essays. Children’s books. A 5th-grade chapter book and more. Most of it has been for my eyes only, and those I ask to proofread, but some have made it out into the world and landed on magazines’ virtual and actual pages. And for this, I am genuinely grateful to those who have helped me water these seeds. I am thankful that these seeds have been allowed to bloom within me. And I am pleased that I can now call myself a freelance writer who receives compensation for her writing.
But I must be intentional to sustain my love for writing. So here are my tips for nurturing a passion for writing, even when life gets busy.
I see you. Finishing manuscripts on holidays and summers. Attending See Jane Write meetings on Tuesdays. I see you finishing your grading so that you can steal a moment to work on your screenplay. You are the teacher that incorporates writing into your lessons. Letting kids know that writing isn’t a bore; it’s a major source of creativity, joy and a skill set that can make you money in the future. You are the Teacher Writer…Heavy on the writer.
You’ve been told that those who can’t do, teach. But you know that’s not true; those who teach…do…and they do it well.
Editor’s Note: See Jane Write now publishes personal essays by writers who identify as women, non-binary folks, and our allies. Learn more here.
By Sherilyn Anderson
I’ve dreamed and often fantasized about being a writer for more than half of my 55 years. Life-threatening uterine cancer pushed me to pursue writing seriously because falling back on my previous profession, a high school English teacher, to support myself is no longer an option. I believe that sometimes God puts us in situations where we don’t have a choice but to make moves in life that we don’t dare to do on our own.
I started working with a writing coach and I started journaling to help build a writing routine. Because of journaling, I’m writing more and I’m getting faster. Even though I’m developing a groove and routine, it still feels like a piece is missing from my writing puzzle. When I couldn’t determine what it was, I asked my writing coach when will I feel comfortable calling myself a writer. She told me that I am a writer because I write, but she couldn’t answer that question for me. I am grateful she didn’t have an answer because it provided an opportunity for me to slay a sneaky dragon.
In February I set a goal to write 50 pages for my next book. I wrote exactly ZERO! If you’re also setting goals for your work in progress and missing the mark each month, it may be time for you to reset your writing routine.