On defining myself as a writer {and am I ever going to write that ebook?}

by gidget on July 22, 2013

in creativity,writing

one day

When I think about writing, I vacillate a lot about what kind of writing I want to do, and what I actually do as well. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, from as long as I can remember.

In college, I started out as a journalism major, and that writing style was ruined for me by one bad class and a professor I didn’t like. But I also realized I didn’t just want to report the facts. I like adjectives and creative syntax and exclamation points too much.

I never even considered English Lit even though my high school English classes were among my favorite. I think my adolescent rebellion kept me from pursuing English (because that was my mom’s major in college and heaven forbid I follow in her footsteps), although in retrospect that may have been the best path for me.

In the end I went with another favorite subject, and it turned out to be a great fit for me. I studied Modern Languages & Literature and developed a real passion for language and linguistics and wrote a ton about Spanish, Latin American and even French literature.

But now that my passion for those subjects has waned a bit, I find myself going back to my roots of just wanting to write. My background and experience would make nonfiction a good fit for me, although I don’t feel called to write about a certain topic, and writing a novel has always been a dream. Lately I’m most intrigued by memoirs although I don’t feel like I have something particularly memorable to write about right now.

Reading Shauna Niequist is inspiring me that I don’t need one Big Thing to make my life book-worthy, but maybe just a lifetime of ordinary bits of beauty is enough. Reading Cold Tangerines feels like the word version of 10 on 10 and I’m loving it.

Right now, I’m in the trenches of motherhood, and while some women successfully juggle that career along with a writing one, I don’t see myself as being that disciplined or motivated. So I’m taking my time right now. Over the next few years my goals are to hone my craft a bit, maybe narrow down what my actual writing goals really look like, and seek out what God would have me do with my words. And just write.

Oh, and that ebook I’ve mentioned. I really do want to get going on that and actually release it later this year. Finding the time when I actually feel motivated and my kids are occupied or taken care of is challenging though. Writing the Sewing School eBook is not going to fulfill my writing dream per se, but I do feel like it’s a great first step.

I’m using a few tools to help me reach that first goal.

 I’ve been reading through Self-Publish by Erin Ulrich and Teri Lynne Underwood and it’s been a really practical and inspiring guide. I feel like I really don’t know what I’m doing in the self-publishing realm so it’s nice to feel like I have a couple of coaches walking me through the process.

And next up I’m planning to take my friend Mandi‘s new eCourse which I hope will help me even more. Mandi has the experience of having written several eBooks and then read and curated numerous others into her weekly bundles.

From Idea to eBook Online Course

Neither of these resources of course provide babysitting, but I figure if I can find myself more equipped and motivated then maybe I can steal time here and there to get the project done. I’ll keep you updated as I go, and maybe a little accountability (i.e. writing about my goals here) will also serve to inspire.

 I know some of you are writers or have writing aspirations. I’d love to hear what some of your goals are and how you’re working toward them. Maybe that will inspire me or help me define myself as a writer a bit more.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan at SortaCrunchy July 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Oh, Nicole! Mama, I can relate to this, word for word.

“I like adjectives and creative syntax and exclamation points too much.” That made me giggle because OH MY GOSH, yes.

I do have a degree in English (Secondary Education), but I’ve also always loved languages and linguistics. And I’m inspired by Shauna’s writing. And I am taking the slow path of writing right now. And (!!!) I’m taking Mandi’s e-course even though I have no dreams of e-book writing now, I keep thinking maybe …

So basically, ditto all of this. I wish we could share a table for dinner again to talk through all of this in real time. :) In the mean time, keep sharing your heart as you have time. You are an excellent writer and I can’t wait to see where this path takes you.
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gidget July 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Ah! I so wish we could have dinner together again as well. It’s so encouraging to hear that someone who I look up to as a writer feels the same way as me about punctuation, I mean, writing. ;) So thanks for your kind words.

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Stacy @ A Delightful Home July 23, 2013 at 6:24 am

I love this: “I don’t need one Big Thing to make my life book-worthy, but maybe just a lifetime of ordinary bits of beauty is enough.” So true!

I think the ordinary bits are really the most interesting anyway. That’s what we all relate to. And most of us what to learn to live those ordinary bits well. To see them for what they truly are: beautiful.

I’m with you on the challenges, too. It is hard to find the time. But it will come. It’s slow going. But that’s OK.

Looking forward to reading your eBooks :)
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gidget July 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I agree, those ordinary bits are the most interesting. :) xo

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Erika July 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Yes, often we think we need that compelling “Big Thing” to write about!

If memoir intrigues you (and you might already be doing this), jot down random notes and quotes in a small notebook or Evernote (I love that it syncs my phone and computer!) I actually have several notebooks going. I read something by Katharine Patterson, author of Bridge to Terebithia, that she wrote in “ten minute snatches” between the responsibilities of motherhood and life in general. I am right there with you balancing family and writing — and no, we can’t do it all but we can cheer each other on :)

I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel pressure to pump something out (such as an eBook) but then I realize it’s okay to take time to research, learn the business, and simply write and re-write. Hey, you never know, you could write a book whose character’s family owns an ice cream shop by the beach…have fun with it and give yourself lots of grace…preaching to the choir here!

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elle @ being stepmom July 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

I totally relate. My career aspirations have changed over the years but I have always wanted to write. I started out writing “novels” in elementary school then discovered a passion for more fact based writing and research and in college I wanted nothing more than to write for a magazine. Now I’m interested in non-fiction/memoir type works.
You are such a talented writer. I love reading your posts. Your book/e-book will come. If we were out to coffee I would look you in the eye and tell you to keep at it. Little by little if you have to. You are a writer and God will show you the how and what in his perfect time. And I look forward to seeing what that is. Xoxo
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Holly July 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm

This is just what I needed to read right now. I actually started a blog today. Just because I want to practice my writing. I don’t know if I have anything interesting to say. But I am going to try and say it anyway.

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gidget July 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm

So glad to hear, Holly! I definitely need the practice myself. What’s your new blog?

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