During yet another job interview for a position I was not excited about, a question was posed that stunned me like a slap to the face.
“I see you studied creative writing, are you a writer?”
I didn’t know how to answer.
Was I a writer?
Certainly I knew how to write. It was a skill that came naturally to me which I had refined with practice, time and experience. But a writer was someone who actively wrote, just to write, and I hadn’t done that in a long time. Suddenly this word that had hovered around me for so long was foreign. It was like I couldn’t even pronounce it.
I’ve always been a person who writes. My earliest school memories are of filling up page after page in journals, thrilled that my teacher had actually set time aside for students to just…write. When I dreamed about my future, writing was always a part of it, whether as a journalist, a novelist, or a marketing specialist, the act of creating a story or idea with words was what I envisioned for myself.
I studied creative writing in college along with environmental science. Yes, I’m also a nature lover. Yet somewhere in the space between high school and now, when I’m close to 30, that defining word, writer, got lost in the shuffle. But I never stopped writing. I worked as an editor for my student newspaper in college. I became a marketing specialist and wrote painfully dull product descriptions and sell sheets for a mineral mining company. I became an editor for a local newspaper and typed out articles about hog shows and queen pageants in the wee hours of the night on an ancient Mac.
But the pleasurable aspect of writing became lost in all of this. Sara the writer became lost. I was too busy racing to get married, bouncing from one job to the next, taking post graduate classes, jumping up to volunteer for this committee or that event, trying to fulfill my ambitious nature. I was (still am) trying to find my place. My useful place, in life.
Sitting in the interview with that question poised in the air, I felt like a fraud stammering my response,
“Yes, I suppose I am.”
The interview moved on but the question and the pain of it remained with me.
So this is my true response.
This blog is where I write. It’s nice to meet you, I’m Sara the Writer.
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