Menu Home

What Kind of Writer Am I?

When my youngest son told me that his final assignment for his college writing class was to write a response to the question, “What kind of writer am I?,” my heart soared. I wanted to write that response. Not for him. But, for myself.

I’m not sure if every writer feels this way, but I love to consider this question. I ponder what kind of writer I thought I would be, and what kind of writer I have become. The answer is somewhat different than what I originally thought.

My desire to be a writer began when I was ten years old. I received my first blank book with a dark rose, corduroy fabric cover that Christmas. I started with my own story, my life as I knew it. It began something like “It was a hard life for me….” I simply shake my head when I think about how little I truly understood about that statement. Certainly I have experienced challenging situations since I was ten. But, a hard life? Not compared to some. I don’t think my ten-year-old self believed that line either. That first blank book endeavor remains short and unfinished.

The following summer I moved on to short stories. But, again, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. It’s important to research beyond what might be learned in fourth-grade social studies class. Also characters are essential for a sustainable plot, and it isn’t always best to kill most of them off.

I tried writing a novel. But, I couldn’t sustain the mystery of my mystery even with an outline. A young adult novel seemed rather insipid from a junior-high perspective.

Then one day–when I was taking my not-so-hard life particularly hard–I wrote a poem. I wrote another one the next day. Then two the next. I kept writing poetry most days throughout high school.

In college, I dabbled in other writing genres–fiction, creative nonfiction, magazine writing, investigative journalism, newspaper articles, and essays. But, then I took a poetry class my last semester, and I remembered what kind of writer I am.

I am a poet.

When life seems hard, my best moments of clarity happen in brief imagery and succinct, choice words. I have written short stories, creative nonfiction, devotionals, and a novel. But, when I need to evaluate a situation or a feeling or an image for what life is, I write a poem.

I’ll admit there’s not much money in poetry. But, for me, that’s not the point. The point is to reassure my inner ten-year-old want-to-be-writer that when life seems hard, it’s time to add some subtle rhyme to my own off-beat rhythm and discover the bigger-picture reason for it all.

Categories: Between the Lines: This Writer's Journal

Tagged as:


From A-Z

Book Reader and Reviewer
Home Educator
Labrador Retriever Owner
Mother of Three Boys
Quiet Moments (a rare commodity!)
RV Camping
Singer in Church Choir
Wife of My High School Sweetheart
Yarn-Lover (the wool kind and the story kind)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: