Having a fourth child has been such a huge blessing but it has also necessarily rearranged my life. More than ever before I feel forced to pick one thing at the expense of everything else. When I spend time focusing on learning my new camera I’m not sketching. I go back to sketching and find that it’s been a couple months since I’ve been at it and it shows. I go back to reading and remember “Oh yes, I was reading this book about aesthetics. Now where was I? What were the arguments again?” All of this to say that this blog is still hobbling along in starts and stops and since baby number four it’s obviously been stops.
A couple months ago Dawn Grabowski asked me how I switched from being an art teacher to a freelance writer. The answer is that I just wrote even though it wasn’t my job. I was at a point a couple of years ago where I steadily kept up a blog (artandtheeveryday.net). I really enjoyed the freedom iWeb provided to manipulate images and text (this feature of course came with a dismal search-ability). When my software had a glitch that even my computer genius husband couldn’t solve, I stopped. At that time blogging and craigslist had opened up the door to a freelance writing position so I didn’t mind the excuse to stop. I later ended the freelance job so that I could focus on homeschooling. Then we were blessed with another baby. Another baby meant no sleep and no writing.
That’s my story, but to answer, “How did I become a writer?” – I wrote. Obviously I don’t have a shining career as a writer but I can throw out advice with the best of them: I would recommend that anyone who is interested in writing keep a blog and network. No one knows you are a good writer until you write and you share. Perhaps no one notices. This may suggest that you aren’t a good writer or that you are a good writer and no one notices. Either way you’ve brought your idea into the sunshine. Ideas in your head are large and airy . . . ideas made of the flesh of words or paper or paint or flour or dirt seem thinner but they are REAL and they can grow and change if nourished. Often, like children, they turn out differently than you had planned.
Dawn, I’m not sure that you were asking for that type of advice. I don’t know your situation. It sounds like perhaps you have a steady job and are seeking to make a career shift? However, since you asked for my story there it is. I’m still writing it. I’m still trying to figure out what writing, art, philosophy, gardening, baking, photography and a host of other things all have to do with my current job of raising small children. I’m still trying to remind myself to thrive where I am and to trust that a kind and loving Author will guide me to the “adjacent possible” (as somebody or other said in the Wall Street Journal).
How have your own ideas been revised and refined as you have brought them into actions? Please share in the comments.