Confession of a Writer

What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the year before my dad’s sudden death in a bicycle accident, I had a soul whisper that I needed to get to know my dad on his terms. He was such an enthusiastic supporter of so many people that it was hard to get him to talk about himself. But I sat him down and asked questions and recorded his stories. It was one of the most inspired things I ever did. His death catapulted me into an ambition to write a book about him.  In those months as I was pregnant with my daughter and writing about my dad, spinning between death and birth, I met Sheila, my writing coach.

With her help, I finished and published the book, and after my daughter was born, I found more to write about. When I contacted Sheila again, she asked, “Do you remember the first thing that you said to me?” I didn’t so she reminded me that I had told her I wasn’t a writer, I just wanted to write a book about my dad. But as we worked together, she told me along the way that I would have more to write about.

I think back to how I was so quick to disavow any greater aspirations to be a writer and it showed how much I feared admitting what was calling to me. I didn’t want to presume that I had anything valuable to say (or write) and it wasn’t what I went to school for. In fact, when I was finishing my BS in Electrical Engineering, the last course I needed to complete was a technical writing course, and it took me until after I walked through ceremonies and had a real job to complete those credits and finish my degree.

Sitting down to write and publish blogging posts every morning has been my practice to walk what my inner self already knows is true. That I’m driven to write about this one wild and precious life of mine, to quote Mary Oliver, and that it’s not presumptuous to own that.

I like to think of writing as the last gift that my dad gave me before he departed this planet. And as such it’s the one that helps me integrate him with the life I have now with these two beautiful children. It’s the gift that has brought me depth and wonderful relationships with you all in the WordPress community. To not own that I love writing is a betrayal of all that so I guess I need to call Sheila back up and tell her I’m a writer.

How about you – do you admit that you are a writer?

(featured photo from Pexels)

51 thoughts on “Confession of a Writer

  1. When I first started blogging I was hesitant to call myself a writer, but somewhere along the way it dawned on me that I was one. And that I needed to put that idea out there in the world because no one except me could do that. Since I declared this, I’ve become more relaxed about being me, the real me. The truth will set you free– or some such sentiment.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love how you put this “no one except me could do that.” Brilliantly written, Ally! Yes, there is such a beauty in being authentically who we are! Thank you for this gift of a comment!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. This is beautiful, Wynne. Owning who and what you are…celebrating this precious life…sharing your light. And how magnificent an experience to have interviewed and captured the essence of your father. Absolute treasure 💜

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And what a treasure of a comment, Natalie! I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you through your writing and your amazing honesty, humor and gift of writing! ❤

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  3. I have such a complicated relationship with this writing business. You did it in a way that is admirable and beautiful. Writing is such a gift especially when it touches you personally in the way it did. And the daily writing, the blogging, it opens up avenues you may not have considered existed before you started. I know this is true for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well-said, Claudette! I love what you say about when the gift of writing when it touches you personally. I see in all your avenues what you mean about blogging opening those up and I’m so grateful that I’ve connected with you through your excellent writing, my friend!

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  4. This resonated deeply . Also an engineer. Loved writing letters in my college days but never thought I was a writer until I started my blog 5 years ago . The reasons were similar . To forge a deeper connection with myself . But in doing so, I found a beautiful connection with all those who read my pieces

    Also had a similar moment of connection with my father before he died . Wrote about it in a post on my blog titled ‘Samsara’

    You are such a storehouse of beautiful stories ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment. And for giving me the connection to your post about your father. Wow – what an incredible post and experience you had with your father!

      I’m so grateful to have met you through this community – so we can swap beautiful stories! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love following your blog, Wynne! You have so much to say, and you say it in a way that feels meaningful and authentic. I am grateful that you have found your calling and that all of us here in blog-o-sphere benefit from that. I look forward to your daily posts. Thank you for being a writer and for sharing your gift with us ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What an incredibly affirming and heart-warming comment, Grace. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful that we’ve connected in this forum and can support each other along this journey. It’s what makes it meaningful! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a wonderful post, Wynne. It truly resonates with me.

    The first article that I wrote in my 30’s was accepted and published in a quarterly magazine. I felt like I was a fraud and that the editor would eventually find out that I wan’t really a writer. He established a relationship with me and accepted many of my pieces. I’d like to say it was that easy to get articles published in other magazines but it wasn’t. However, the relationship I had with that editor gave me the confidence to believe that I really did have a gift for writing. Some people have the gift of gab. I have the gift for weaving words together on a printed page. 🙂

    I will tell people that I love to write but to say I’m a ‘writer’ has always been hard for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You do have a gift of weaving words together on a printed page, Nancy! Thank goodness for that editor recognizing your talent. I hear you that it’s hard to translate that to other publications – the business of writing is so much about relationships. So grateful that you are part of my network of writers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its wonderful to connect with other writers in the WordPress community and so grateful that you’re part of my network too, Wynne.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Welcome to the community of self-professed writers, Wynne! It took me several years, while working on my first novel, to consider myself as a writer. I give thanks to a Guyanese friend and nun who pointed me in that direction after reading my short stories.

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  8. I struggled to see myself that way even when the publisher of my illustrated children’s book urged me to “write down some of my philosophical thoughts”. I wrote them down in the teeniest tiniest notebooks I could find. Only after I finished my first book did I feel comfortable calling myself a writer! Writing brings out some of the deepest and truest thoughts, and I have found the process helped me develop more as a person and secondly as someone who gained self assurance to call herself a writer.

    I found there was security in not declaring myself a writer before I felt comfortable doing so. I had experienced so much criticism and mockery prior to that, I felt I needed to complete a finished product to show as a testament of my ability not only to write and have something to say, but even simply to show I was able to follow through to completion.

    I had seen people declaring themselves to be writers and heard others mocking them behind their back, saying they’d never finish what they started. I didn’t want to have people talk about me like that. They may not like my books or not be able to relate to them, but I can’t be accused of being a wannabe, for that seems to irritate a lot of people! 😬😬

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      1. Why thank you ma’am!

        I’m one of those people who encourages others to write books when I hear their stories. They look at me surprised, but I do know the power of suggesting something, as I experienced that myself! I always say start with baby steps! One need not even have a writing outline or a clear concept in the beginning… I didn’t! I just started to write and when I had enough discombobulated ideas in notebooks I started putting them into a Word document.

        The paragraphs and chapters evolved as I put alike ideas together. It grew very organically. I recommend this for someone who feels in their gut they need to write but feel they don’t know where to start or how to do it! Just start I say!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. My experience with my father was somewhat similar, Wynne, though he was always pretty open with me. When his youngest brother died, I became newly aware of his mortality. He agreed to make a videotaped oral history. In the event, we spent two hours on each of two Saturdays — four hours — in the conversation. His memory was still razor-sharp (at about age 75). Had I waited a few more years, when a stroke diminished his recall significantly, I’d have been too late to obtain something of as much value. While I had long been a writer in the course of my professional career (research papers and psychological reports), the human contact involved in those four hours was priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it perfectly, Dr. Stein – priceless. And thank God for the timing that allowed us to talk with our fathers that way. Those hours are some of the ones I treasure above the rest! So glad you got that precious gift as well!

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      1. Thank you, Wynne. The most precious of those moments was when I asked him about his return from his service in the US Army during WWII. On arrival in New York city he called his wife, not yet my mother. As he remembered it his voice cracked and tears came to his eyes. The event of 40 years before still moved him, a man not easily brought to tears.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, sitting in my chair reading these words from many miles and many years away, I still get a shiver all over. What an amazing moment that must have been for him – and for him to retell and have you listen! Powerful!

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  10. Very interesting post, Wynne. There’s an expression in the ever-encouraging running world that if you run then you’re a runner. I think that parallel exists, assuming in both cases that the individual takes the activity seriously. I started writing more seriously when I retired from being a CA prof. I wanted to write my (long deceased) mother’s story for my grown sons and my brothers, and I wanted to write children’s stories for my little granddaughter (now also 3 grandsons). I attended several writers’ workshops, which were lots of fun and is where I learned about blogging. The most important thing I learned – and keep learning – is to just keep writing. Bum in seat; write. And I do. Just like putting on your sneakers and getting out the door to run. So, yes, I think of myself as a writer … and a runner! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this, Jane! Such a clear line you draw here. I’m trying to decipher what CA stands for?

      Bum in seat; write – you’re right, there is no other way to do it. And I’m glad that you do because I feel interested, engaged and educated every time you post!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoops, I thought I had fixed that. I fixed it once; now I get it, my autocorrector assumed I meant California! It should be CS, for computer science. And, thanks, Wynne.

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  11. It’s a wonderful thing that you discovered your writer’s voice and your passion for writing – and that you share and connected with us on this blogging community!

    And how much more wonderful that it also helped you made that connection and continue to make that connection with your dad! You definitely are a writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing!!.. I think our mind takes us on many adventures before the heart finally steps in and takes over, letting us be what we wish to be… I make no claims, just let the fingers do the walking while the heart does the talking… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I must confess I do not consider myself to be a writer. I still stick my toe in the water off the dock. I guess I would have to jump in??
    That’s a really good question to consider Wynne

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh wow, that’s a lovely thing you did with your dad, and you may have inspired me to do the same. And yes, I do admit to being a writer—especially since I do it for a living—but I have to say, I tend to write more for work than for my own creative pursuits, which isn’t ideal. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope if you do the same with your dad, we get to read about it Stuart! Interesting the distinction you make between your work and own pursuits – sometimes it’s hard to do for fun what we also do for work. Thanks for adding these thoughts to the discussion!

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  15. You write posts DAILY. I mean… And they’re always great. It’s not like you write mindless drivel. You are clearly a writer, and that’s wonderful. I’m glad you’re owning it. And I’m so pleased by your “soul whisper” about your dad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So lovely to hear your affirmation that you know you are a writer, Karen! Such an interesting thing you say about wondering if anything will come of it. I think the wondering is a great start – because then things can take us where we need to go next. When I started blogging, I had very little idea that it would provide so much community and hope it does the same for you. It seems like with most things – we get out of it what we put into it, right?

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