You’ve heard the saying before: To be a writer all you have to do is write.
But what should you do when you realize that you’re a writer who doesn’t write?
You know what I mean. You used to write all the time then life got in the way and now you can’t remember the last time you put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard (that wasn’t for your day job or to waste time on social media).
You still think about writing all the time. Characters whose stories you want to create keep you up at night. The memoir you want to write haunts you. Poetry prances through your head.
Or maybe you’re a blogger who doesn’t blog. When you first started your site you were so excited, but it didn’t seem as if anyone else was, so you quit. Or maybe you didn’t want to quit but you just couldn’t figure out how to stay consistent.
Now, this is the part where I’m supposed to inspire you.
When the news of Kate Spade’s suicide broke on June 5 I, like many fans of the famous fashion designer, was shocked and saddened for her family. But I didn’t even think many of the things I heard others saying or saw others posting on social media. Things like, “She was rich. Why would she want to kill herself?” or “How could she be so selfish and do this to her family?” I didn’t say or think things like this because I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life but hid my pain by being an overachiever who seems so “together.” I didn’t think or say Kate Spade was selfish because there have been so many times when I was convinced everyone around me would be better off if I weren’t here.
I am a writer but I also proudly call myself a “writerpreneur,” a woman who wants to use her writing to make an impact and an income. So in addition to reading and working on the craft of writing, I also learn all I can from business-minded people. This is why I attend events like the Dream Catchers South conference, a one-day seminar for female entrepreneurs hosted in Birmingham each spring. Natalie McMyler, the founder of Dream Catchers South, is the owner of the clothing company 11th Thread, which she launched in 2014 because she wanted to be able to stay home with her son and pursue her passion of owning her own business.
Being a professional writer means being able to write even when you don’t feel like it. Inspiration is overrated. That said, I know that when we do feel inspired to write what we create is much more, well, inspiring! It’s powerful and authentic and resonates with our readers in a way they can barely put into words. When we write something inspired it moves our readers. It moves us! And it feels like magic.
But here’s the thing, we can’t just sit around waiting for inspiration to hit us. We have to chase after it. Early American author Jack London said it best: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
The past couple of months have been quite exciting for Audrey Atkins of the popular blog Folkways Nowadays. Not only did she publish her debut essay collection They Call Me Orange Juice with Archway Publishing, but she also attended BookExpo 2018 at the Javits Center in New York where her new book was on display at Archway Publishing’s booth!
Audrey is the See Jane Write Member of the Month for June 2018 for these reasons and so many more.
If you’re in the Birmingham area you can buy a copy of They Call Me Orange Juice at Audrey’s book launch party 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 15 at Rojo, 2921 Highland Avenue. There will be light hors-d’oeuvres provided, books will be sold and signed, and Audrey will do a short reading.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about Audrey’s book and her blog and why she loves being a part of See Jane Write.