"...everything in life is writable...if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."..... Sylvia Plath

Monday, January 31, 2011

Discovering who I am through writing

How I got this way

I have been writing all of my adult life which, since I’m over 70, is a very long time. As a little girl, besides pretending to be a teacher, I kept journals of my drawings, poetry, songs, and anything else I could think of to put down on paper. I was fascinated by words and their meanings and would read the dictionary and, as I became older, would deliberately try to improve my vocabulary by learning and using a new word every week. This went on all through high school.

I graduated and went to college to study art but the pull of the written word was too much for me to resist, so I changed my major to English Composition. I was very happy for a while until the music ringing in my ears urged me to demonstrate to my “jazz musician” father that I understood where he was coming from. Fortunately, I inherited some of his talent and could sing and dance a little. I ended up with degrees in both English and Music. The art became a delightful hobby.

Immersed in writing and theater

As a teacher of both music and English in the Chicago Public schools, I was totally immersed in communication skills through teaching English classes, as well as putting on musical theater working with students constructing sets and scenery, making costumes, and teaching dance for nearly 30 years. Being so involved with students all the time, did not give me much time to explore my own abilities and desires as a writer. When I retired from teaching and became an Innkeeper, I finally came full circle a few years ago and gave in to the hold that writing has always had on me.

My love affair with blogging

As soon as I began blogging I loved it. I started out with one blog on Innkeeping. It got good response, but most of the readers were not Innkeepers. Innkeepers are notorious, at least they were a few years ago, for resisting Social Media networking. They like face to face interaction. So I started another blog on the Innkeeping Industry, to educate them about the joys and rewards of social networking. I joined Twitter, then Facebook, then LinkedIn. I’m still keeping up all four blogs and touching down at a dozen or so social media sites. I think it’s important for writers to network on the web. It’s one way of building a strong platform and writers groups can be very supportive.

if you enjoyed this post, feel free to leave a comment


  1. Very good point about writers connecting with each other on social networking sites. Almost no one in my family has a Facebook account, and they think it is only for talking to people you know in day to day life. If that were the case for me I would not have a Facebook page even, as I use it to network with other writers and bloggers.

  2. @Jats: Glad to hear that you're on board with writers using Facebook to network. It's the perfect venue. There are lots of other social network sites that can function in the same way. And don't forget blogs...following and guest posting can bring writers together too.

  3. I worked as a free-lance writer while raising my children. Later studied art which kept me from going mad. There's a cute commercial showing adults saying what they want to be when they grow up. My contention is that you keep on doing that forever. I'm still learning.

    I enjoy writing, blogging, and painting. Always into trying new things. Love to have you visit my blog and make a comment. We have a lot in common!

  4. Hi Carol, Yeah, art can be very therapeutic. I would love to come to your blog, but you didn't leave the address. Also would really like to see that commercial you were talking about. I'm going to try to find you

  5. Great post. I agree that you can find yourself through writing. I've seen that happen to me, bit by bit, every day. Thanks for this!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  6. You are very welcome, Sarah. It's nice to find a kindred soul. Writing can be very therapeutic too.

  7. I've always been fond of the idea that we never 'grow up' - just keep discovering other things we want to become. I think all art in some way leads to the other arts. My love affair with photography re-awakened my poetry and is now beckoning me towards mixed media. Growing up is over rated.

  8. Thanks, Photodiction, for the nice comment. I tend to agree with you about growing up.