When I started writing seriously back in 1999 I was driven. I wrote daily and submitted a work of fiction to contests and literary journals on a monthly basis. The rejection folder grew and grew, but so did my writing skills. In 2001 one of my short stories, Crossroads won an award and was published in the Sheridan Edwards Review. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.
Meanwhile I was working on a couple of novels, one of which is Feisty Family Values, which comes out in February 2010. I started it in 2000 while I was finishing up my Bachelor of Arts degree at WSU. One of my instructors, Carol Konek, had encouraged me to write and was the physical inspiration for Regina in FFV.
I had trouble in 1999 calling myself a writer. I felt more like an obsessed dabbler. But I attended a writer’s retreat at Ghost Ranch with Emily Hanlon and realized that’s exactly what I had become. Some of us wrote fiction, some non-fiction, memoirs, children’s stories, poetry, journaling and essays. The key here is we were all “writers”.
So, if you doubt you are what you are, think about it in terms of what you do with your time. It doesn’t matter if you’re published or not, what matters is that you write.