I Am a Writer

Wishful Writer Two

 

I may not be published.  I may not be ready to share most of what I write with the general public.  I may not even be willing to share most of it with trusted friends.  But I am a writer.  Why?  Because I write.  It is not every day.  I can sometimes go weeks without putting pen to paper (at least for my personal writing).  But I write.  And that makes me a writer.

 

I have been making up stories since I was two.  My mom used to come pick me up from Sunday School or Mother’s Day Out and the workers would ask about something I had told them and she would have to tell them that I was making it up.  Then she would tell me not to lie to people.  I don’t really remember this, but she says I always told her that I wasn’t lying.  I was telling a story I made up.  I apparently never intended for anyone to believe me.  But they did.

 

Since I learned to draw letters and use those letters to form words, and then sentences, I have been writing my stories instead of telling them to people.  It provides a creative outlet, as well as an emotional one.

 

I typically write murder mystery stories (though comedy and romance are not unheard of in my notebook), and that has been a great way to take out the frustrations of life.  When someone gets particularly annoying I kill them . . . in my writing.  Generally, it means I have a good laugh.


Writing is also a way for me to work through real life situations in a fictional world.  I can make decisions, have conversations, and express emotions without real world consequences.  Sometimes that is enough to get over whatever injustice I’ve recently been dealt.  Sometimes it is enough to give me the courage to confront whomever dealt it.  Either way I’m able to work through whatever is going on.

 

No matter what anyone ever says about me, no matter what is going on in my life, there is always this one aspect of myself about which I am completely certain.  I am a writer.  I may never be published.  I may never make any money off of it.  That isn’t the point.  The point is that it is something I love to do.  I will always love to do it.  Just like I will always love singing, playing my guitar, and knitting.  It is part of who I am.  And whether or not I ever have fans or make money, it is a part I am proud of.

Kara Howell

One Step Forward – Great News and Not So Good News

The Great News

I GOT A JOB!

Sorry, I have to be raw about this, but it just happened yesterday as my first post went live, this blissful news fluttered in quietly through an email yesterday afternoon. I of course called my mother first, who cheered for me and as much as I wanted to cry tears of joy, my body couldn’t shake the smile and relax my eyes enough to allow any tears. Kinda strange, I could feel the tears in my face and the pressure to let them out in my throat. But even without tears, I was able to fully enjoy the elation of being told “Congratulations!” – Who doesn’t like that feeling? You knew you could do it, but it’s great to be affirmed, isn’t it?

Confession: I squealed and jumped up and down and onto the bed and ran around the house and outside making strange noises. Jax and Kylie (two dogs that live here) looked at me and tilted their head in that confused look dogs give.

I celebrated with my boyfriend with obligatory celebratory food – pizza, soda, and my favorite – Greek salad with a crap ton of red onions and feta. The only thing the Greek salad has wrong – is olives. I know, it’s Greek, but whatever, I tossed every olive I found.

SO – the actual job!

It’s with a growing online magazine called Society South and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of their staff writing team! The magazine has a great millennial vibe and is full of solid content. I won’t ramble too much about it, but encourage you to take a peak at it. After all, it is my new job, you’ll probably be getting plugged with a few posts relating to my work there.

I still can’t believe it. I will be writing for my job. It’s a true dream come true. That’s all I can really say. My work will not only be read by close friends or trusted colleagues, but by a public eye that can be merciless – that fact absolutely thrills me.

The Not So Good News

As I went about my afternoon with my boyfriend and we ran errands, I was shaky with sheer delight and laughter. I felt like I could breathe a bit easier, I felt that proverbial weight lifted from my shoulders and I just felt a genuine joy for everything around me. But in my ecstasy, I received “that” news. My friend of the better part of over 10 years has cancer. Out of respect for this individual, I won’t reveal more than that. I can’t even talk about the conversation we had because he/she would rather keep this private news for as long as he/she can. I completely understand and I respect that decision.

It was a pretty huge blow to my heart though. I was even in the middle of laughing about something, probably stupid or not-laugh worthy – but I saw the message and it felt like one of those slow-motion transitions you see in movies, in which the emotions are captured slowly, the movements feel static and still, and you have to wait a long time to process exactly what is happening. That’s what getting that news felt like.

Confession: I got angry and wanted to throw my phone.

I told my boyfriend, who is not friends with this individual as I am, but knew the effect this news had on me. We got out of the car at our next stop and gave me a huge hug. Strange, I wanted to cry, I could feel the tears behind my eyes and the pressure in my throat to let it out, but it couldn’t come. Maybe it was in the manner that which the news was delivered to me. It was calm, it was steady and gentle, very much like the person themselves. I know he/she would not have wanted me to react harshly or rashly, despite the blow.  Even now, I am not sure how to react, there are some real concerns with this person’s situation, yet he/she is really taking it well. I guess for now, I adopt his/her outlook on it and let it be. Staying as positive and upbeat about my life which will hopefully allow him/her feel the positive vibes.

All in all – a Good Day.

Even with the downing news, it made me realize how much I value this individual and appreciate what he/she means to my life. I guess that sort of sentiment sounds cliche, but it doesn’t make it less true for me. Also, got a job, so – can’t stay down long, especially when I shared the happy news with this person and he/she was just as excited for me 🙂 This person has seen me go through a lot, so it’s great to see his/her response to the going’s-on in my life.

That’s about it for the day. More of a journal/diary/blog post – but it had to do with writing, so it counts. – It’s the “…” moment as I eagerly await for things to take off as I continue my pursuits as a writer!

Just Do It. My Preamble.

Well Nike sure claimed an incredible tagline for themselves – a simple call to action that is a mentality a lot of us creatives have to implement every day as we work the grind and still have energy to simply – just do it.

I think I must be in the minority of writers out there – I read a lot about people who were just so motivated and driven and yadda, yadda, that they just up and did what they loved to do – write. For me? I am as cautious as they come. I love my plans, routines, schedules, calendars, reminders – all those things that keep me in safe boundaries. I was that kid in school that never crossed the lines with my teachers or coaches. Only when it came to art and writing did I even dare stray from the course, but even then it was at the encouragement of my teachers who said “Color outside the lines!” and “Feel free to write more than the 500 word limit.” – It wasn’t necessarily because I was so impassioned I just HAD to do it – I just happen to have the ability to go a bit beyond what was asked, and even then I nervously put my work on the line knowing there were standards and rules I had to abide to for fear of failure.

All that said – it takes a lot for me to self-start.

And can I be honest? I find myself a bit depressed. Want to know why? Well, click here to get the full story. But if you want to skip the sobs, just know I’ve been in a bit of a rut for a few years, and I am slowly working my way out of it.

Because of the state of heart and mind I have found myself in, it’s all the more harder to just do it. To just write. And you may think, “Then you have no business, or right maybe, to pursue such a audacious and treacherous career path. They’ll [whoever they are] will chew you up and spit you out.” And maybe that will happen. All I know is that I do love writing. When I do write – not for an essay, article, or assignment – just write for my own benefit of getting out what I know and feel – I know I did a decent job. I know I have a good voice. I know that I can encourage other people who might feel depressed, unmotivated, and discouraged.

I want to write because I have a story worth sharing. It’s not terribly exciting, but not many of ours are action-movie worthy, but they do have messages, even subtle ones, that can teach lessons and lift spirits of those who are fortunate enough to read them. Share your stories with me, and I will share my stories with you.

With all that in mind, I invite you to join me in my story and stories I will share – along with my fellow Wishful Writer Two!

So, all there’s left to do now is to – Just Do It.

Kara Howell

Sidelines No More

Wishful Writer One

I have my bachelor’s in English, Creative Writing, & Latin; a Master’s in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and still no full time job. I’ve had to fight off the self-doubt as I watch peers around me landing promotions, paying for their weddings, and even having their first child, and I sit at my parent’s kitchen table hoping that my turn for success is “just around the corner.”

Well, I’ve decided that “just around the corner” moment is now. I’m not saying we’re going to blow up the blog space with our humble little pieces, but I am saying that we’re more determined than ever to make a push to be career writers and we aren’t stopping until we get there!

Though September is upon us, it’s my turn to step up to bat and see what I can do. I’m sick and tired sitting on the sideline.

To give you a brief profile of my writing career as of late:

I am a bridal blog editor for The Posh Bridal Lounge in Texas. I write about everything weddings which is a perfect marriage (no pun intended) of my love for wedding related things and my passion for writing. I love my job, though it’s an unpaid situation at the moment, my hope is it will be a launch pad for my writing that will benefit me in the future. I am also learning quite a bit about independent entrepreneurship and have a new appreciation for people who start their own businesses. And in a lot of ways, as a writer, I’m very much like them.

I of course have the obligatory “in progress” novel. To be honest, I’ve struggled with quite a bit in the recent years. I had a small blip of inspiration late 2013, but since then, it feels like the child I’m neglecting and even now as I think about it, I feel like a neglectful parent. I hope to change that this year. This. Year.

I would love to be a script writer. Once I wrote my first play and I realized how well it did with peers, professors, and the public, I knew that’s what I wanted. I have been in a voice acting community for the past three years, though been inactive for 2013. I do some voice acting and singing here and there, but mainly, I get involved with script writing where my heart is.

So, that’s me and my writing at the moment! Hoping for more to come 🙂