This is a guest post written by Helen from A Bookish Baker.
I am a writer.
Do you know how long it has taken me to say this?
A few years ago I might have said, “Well, I sort of write. I try. Of course, it might not be any good…”
Would I have mentioned my blog? No, probably not.
I’ve been writing – and three years later, blogging - for thirteen years. I started when I was pregnant. Writing the first few chapters of a novel. I’ve still got it in my files somewhere.
After I had my first baby things were difficult. So I would escape into our small dining room to write. The few chapters I had written whilst pregnant evolved into something else.
I kept writing the same three chapters over and over. Trying to get them perfect. Changing names of characters. Altering the starting point. That first crucial paragraph. But I was in a continuous loop: chapter one, chapter two, chapter three, then back to the beginning and start again.
Until I joined a group of writers online and set up a blog. This literally changed my life.
Creating a blog was the push I needed to get past that loop of those first three chapters. Seven or eight months later I had a completed first draft. I had written those two magic words: The End.
It’s now 2016. Many years later. The blog is more sophisticated. I’ve learned about photography. I know a lot about social media. I’ve been paid to write content online. A literary agent sought me out. I’ve written a cookery book proposal. And been rejected – but in a lovely and positive way – by publishers. And I have finished my novel. A novel that was born out of that first draft thirteen years ago but with a different main character and different circumstances, so it is no longer autobiographical but is based on issues I’ve experienced. There’s just a bit of an edit to do on it before I email it to my agent. (My agent. That will never get old.)
So in thirteen years of writing, of attending an evening creative writing class, of taking part in an online journalism course and a course about how to pitch to magazines, of being published in a writing magazine and being paid to write online, I am now a proud blogger and photographer, a food stylist, and an iPhoneographer. I am also a writer. I was a writer back then. And I’m a writer right now.
Because I write.
And if you write, so are you.