Slice of Life Day 14 – Who am I as a writer?

I am a poet, essayist, short story writer, aspiring novelist, journalist, and list writer. My first and most formative experience as a writer was winning a citywide writing contest in sixth grade. I wrote a short story about a snowflake on a piece of wrapping paper who was separated from her family, as she was cut off the paper roll. That award was the first recognition that I received for having talent as a writer. Since then I have not received any awards, but I have regularly written many pieces – professional and personal – and continue to love the process of writing.

Another experience that shaped my craft was working as a writer for a company that provides online continuing education for emergency medical professionals. Over a three-year period, I wrote material for well over fifty courses. I researched, wrote and edited each course knowing that the content and accuracy of the work was vital and could truly mean the difference between life and death.

When my children were young and our family lived states away from any family, I regularly kept a blog detailing stories and anecdotes of our lives. My audience was family and close friends but all enjoyed reading stories of our adventures. While I do not write as routinely on that blog, I have kept numerous others and am currently part of this 31 day writing challenge, writing one slice of life every day.  In addition to writing for continuing education for medical professionals and a personal blog, I have also written other articles for local newspapers and at least one for a professional journal.

One challenge I have, that I am working on conquering, is having a writing life beyond my responsibilities as an educator. During vacations I keep a journal, but it is abandoned as we resume our daily activities at home. I have started countless daily gratitude journals to try to jump-start my writing life, but inevitably I am more grateful for not having to write about what I’m grateful for each day. I have written short stories for my children but not as often as I’d like. I have talked with colleagues about researching and publishing more professional articles, but the conversations have not morphed into printed word. Yet.

I can tell a story well, both orally and in writing, but I seem to find my strongest voice in the written word. I can convey emotion, mood, and setting in detail helping my readers to feel they are part of my experiences. While I can write a narrative, capturing the essence, I would like to improve my fiction writing abilities. I’m able to write a short story and have written a number of chunks of what I hope will eventually develop into novels, I generally turn to essay and nonfiction as preferred genres of writing. I greatly desire to improve my craft in fiction writing. After all, that is where I had my start as a writer winning the sixth grade writing contest. I’m sure there’s another story about a snowflake waiting to be written.

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