Thursday, April 14, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Inventing Your Writerly Self: Who Are You?

I didn't think much about a writerly self growing up, heck, didn't really thing about "serious" writing till a couple of years ago. See, I've always loved to write...and read, a lot. My whole life has been spent in pursuit of language and words, putting them together to create a tapestry. I wove words together to help heal wounds, as tributes, to be silly, or just dream. The picture upon the tapestry reflected parts of me.

Two years ago when I stumbled across AC, I saw a chance to expand my tapestry. It also made me think about my writerly self. Who was I? Some people have a niche, some are generalists, others do both. Inventing your writerly self is a process you may or may not give any thought to at all. I'm a thinker, a planner, an organizer, so in typical fashion, inventing my writerly self required some thought.

I began with health related content because of the chronic pain condition I have. That led to my next favorite subject of home remedies and other health problems. I wanted to be more than a health writer, so I did some parenting type articles. Being a mom to four kids and one grandson helps me come up with ideas for those.

I love crafting, which led to crafting articles. Sometimes crafting and decorating cross, so I ended up with multi-dimensional articles. I have one pagan article, but have plans for more one day, as well as genealogy subjects for YCN. I have two fur babies who own me and let them each write their own article and the one I wrote on Maine Coons. Over at DS, I stuck with the health articles, then started writing gardening type, with a few craft articles thrown in and a few genealogy too.

At this point, two years later, I'm still inventing my writerly self. I'm a crafter, genealogist, gardner (only virtually...I murder anything that grows in real life. I did garden with my grandma growing up, just don't do it on my own.), health, parent, pet owner and proud pagan. I am a generalist who can write to specific niche topics with ease due to my life experiences.

There's other dimensions to me as a writer that I have yet to explore, but it's not as if I have any limits on what I can do either. I've seen people ask many times about how to get article ideas or rely on assignments at YCN in order to write something. Everyone should take some time to find out what they like to do to begin inventing their writerly selves. Go on, getting crackin' and make a list! I bet you'll start coming up with ideas for articles before you get too far.


Langley said...

Great post, you've got me thinking. You and I are similar. We share a love of animals (Maine Coons rock!) and write about pets, gardening and crafts, among other things. I couldn't really say who my writerly self is. I'm still in discovery mode.

I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

KBalbify said...

I totally agree. Life is a journey, not a destination. It is up to live it and make each day worthwhile.

I'm at - Bad Girl Gone Mom

Tracey said...

Another great post. I am still in discovery mode myself but writing what you like and know about is a great place to start.