Friday Fun – What Kind of Writer Are You?

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION:  What kind of writer did you set out to be? What was your vision for your writing life? Has your journey brought you to that destination, or at least put you on the path toward that goal; or has your writing adventure taken unexpected turns into new territory?

JME5670V2smCROPJamie Wallace: I grew up dreaming of being a novelist. I imagined myself nestled in a modest-but-cozy writing studio sipping endless chai lattes and steaming mugs of chamomile tea while collaborating with my muse. I pictured cats purring loudly from between sprawling piles of notes and research materials while I tapped out my latest middle grade fantasy or new adult magical surrealist tale. Of course, when I had this idyllic vision of what my writing life could be, I had almost no understanding of the publishing world and was not even yet fully independent from my parents.

That was a long time ago.

I’m now a middle-aged single mom who makes her living as a freelance “marcom” (marketing and communications) writer. I have been hustling this gig for the last ten years, and I have learned a LOT during that time. I still aspire to write fiction (and I swear to all the gods of inspiration and artistic creativity that I will accomplish that goal eventually), but in the meantime I am not sorry that I have carved out a different kind of writing life for myself. There is such a diverse range of paths available to a writer, and none of them are without merit. I am exploring other nonfiction avenues even now and am excited to see how my writing life will evolve from here.

lisajjacksonLisa J. Jackson: I can’t remember what type of writer I imagined myself being! Is that bad? It wasn’t a career encouraged in my household, so I focused on business and imagined being a math teacher (I loved algebra and trigonometry), but I got a taste of fiction in 5th grade and enjoyed short story writing for myself. I devoured novels like they were meals – romances, dark fiction (Stephen King was a fave), mysteries – Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys, sci-fi. I loved alternate world craft where I could be transported away from my life.

I dabbled in writing my own short mysteries, and kept journals. But my focus for a career was business – finance and accounting. Eventually I transitioned in writing process guides and then technical manual writing. Always continuing to write for myself. And now I have several first drafts of novels needing to be dusted off – one is actively worked on and I plan to finish it before the end of the summer.

I like the twisty turny path of my writing. I’ve had bylines in newspapers and magazines, I’ve won fiction contests for short writing, I’ve had short stories published, I plan to see novels published, and there’s so much business-related writing I’m not paid for that I wouldn’t trade in for the world.

I enjoy the variety of my writing projects and hope to always have it!



20 thoughts on “Friday Fun – What Kind of Writer Are You?

  1. I always wanted to a writer and of course I wanted to write the stuff I read. So, fantasy and maybe science fiction.

    I knew it was unlikely to be my day job though. In HS, I tried a C++ class and decided I could do that. So that’s what I did. My mom was very confused when my sister and I hit college and she – the one who always did better in math — became an English major and I went into Computer Science.

    My writing sat on the back-burner for about a decade, but in 2013, I started making it a priority and finished my first full length draft. So far, the biggest surprise is HOW MUCH you can edit a book. And how much it gets better, without necessarily losing sight of the story it always intended to be–without losing its voice.

  2. I started writing poetry because I loved the sound of words but later I wanted to influence how people thought so I wrote a novel to try to help folk understand learning difficulties which developed into a trilogy. Then I wrote a story to stop myself acting on impulse, and it helped- and finally I wrote about the 1960’s as it was the only period I could set a romance.

  3. I’m a writer in progress. I have more imagination than I have perseverance. I start more stories in my head than I finish on paper, but at least now, some of it makes it to the digital page than ever previously. At this rate, I will be published in my nineties…most likely posthumously.

  4. I did Marcom for 20+ years, sick of it, working on my fiction novel about a guy who turns into Jesus Christ and protests Donald trump. In case I’m not on your reader, here’s a link: I only post a few pages at a time, invite specific readers, then remove the posts. I’m not promoting myself here, simply answering the question. (I always laugh when I see you define MARCOM in parentheses…)

  5. Mine took an unexpected turn! I started off writing poetry but now am into my second non fiction book, making use of my knowledge of art history. I have always written bits and pieces of non fiction throughout my life so it is not entirely new to me. I like the fact that different kinds of writing have different rules. I am also doing an online free course in critical thinking and argument and find, as a result, I am evaluating my book along the lines of: is this premise water-tight; is this conclusion valid and sound!

  6. I started writing around age eight, wild fantasy, melodramas, poetry, I continue to write whatever comes to mind. I would say I am eclectic…Thank you, this was fun.

  7. I started out writing high fantasy, and thought that was the direction I’d go in. These days, I write speculative fiction short stories, even some psychological horror. Now and then I get interested in creative nonfiction and memoir. For a year I was obsessed with blogging, and still love it, though I’ve scaled down. It’s exciting to branch out and try different things, though I fear I’ll never get anything done unless I focus on one thing and do it well.

  8. Even though I wrote my first school play when I was eight and my first complete short story when I was eleven and became the youngest literary editor of our school newspaper when I was a freshman in high school, I never dream of becoming a writer till I was in my 40s. I wanted to be a nun first, then a dressmaker, a policeman, an FBI agent (think Mulder and Scully) an actress both in Broadway and on silver screen, a travel journalist, a food critic and a whole lot more. In later years I come to realize that I have been writing all my life why not take a shot at becoming a real writer I decided.

  9. I started writing at about 10 years of age in a “big chief” tablet. My mother brought me a $25. Smithe Coronna at 18. I wrote all through college, never published. I like writing fiction and nonfiction African American women history. I published in reference books for the first time when I was in my fifties. At the rate I am going, I will write, publish and die. I love to blog late at night and when I am happy. I write about my family and change their names, so they will not murder me.

  10. It’s wonderful to read these different adventures! I actually began writing in my head many many years ago but as some of the other people have commented, my perseverance to get it on paper or on a flash drive is what I struggle to accomplish. Thanks for the inspiration and good stories.

  11. I loved to read right from the beginning and while I never actually decided per se to write now that I think about it I was always headed down that path. I don’t know if it will ever be anything more than the poems that I write now but I sincerely hope it does, because I can picture it, the old-fashioned typewriter and the cup of coffee on a desk.

    • Your comment about typewriters reminds me of an evocative photo of Colin Wilson (my mentor!) with a typewriter on his knee! Reproduced in his autobiography, Dreaming to Some Purpose.

  12. Thank you for blog and comments. I remember being in the days of journalists with typewriters on their laps and tele-printers dropping pages of news all over the floor.. All I ever wanted to be as a child was like Lois Lane and write….I had no idea what or where. To me it is a bit sad that through a lot of years and a lot of trial and error journeys I have discovered I am a ‘story-teller’……not like a novelist as some define. (perhaps not as complex. If there is a story to be told I have a passion to tell it. Fiction people now and historical accuracy. For the first time in my life I am currently being processed to receive a grant for Legacy of Limga (finshed but still refining). If I get a grant I will publish this year. Local Government feel the story may be of benefit to the whole community as a glimpse of its past and burgeoning future. (!!!!) If grant….book will flow. No grant????? But still I write. Three stories have evolved. Yet, and this is the sad part…..its all happening NOW. Not sure if I’ll live long enough to do it ALL. Younger I was all about trying to get a bit of income to supplement living. Writing often filled in the spaces. It was not LIFE.

  13. Just started writing as well! Would love to be apart of a great community like this. So happy to have found such talented writers 😀 If you have a moment check out my short story blog as well! Take care

  14. Hi. I just got my first ever blog site and I am excited! I love to write and I am also an avid reader! I am not a writer of any books and I am not looking to be that. I am a born again christian who has a gift for words and are inspired by life itself. I write to encourage and hope that will bring the reader to find the hope I found in Christ!

  15. When I was a little boy I would pretend I was sick so I could stay home and write poetry. I decided then that I wanted to write beautiful things that would touch people That’s been my intention ever since. Once in a while I succeed. That’s enough to keep anyone going. Thanks for the really nice post. about peoples’ lives. .

  16. Reading all those above comments , i see where i am . I want to be a writer and it’s been a long time since i thought about it , but i haven’t done anything for it to happen , not even a single blog . 😦

  17. My first attempt in writing was back during my senior year in high school, an Indiana Jones adventure thing I never finished because of the finals. A few months after high school I went blind, so anything to do with books was put aside. Fast forwarding a few years after I learned to use assistive software for blind people, I tried writing again, an urban fantasy novel that was pretty much mortifying when I read it. So I buried that attempt, did a decent job on the next book, got rejected. Again I put it aside, wrote a romantic thriller suspense that got the prerequisite rejections. So I put the entire thing away and went on without writing, though I kept the reading. A couple of years ago I picked up the second book, started sprucing it up, kept editing the thing until I’d fall asleep halfway through the second paragraph. Then I wrote the second book on that series. When I started on the third, I decided to start queering again, though I picked only five agents. Then custom wrote a query for each agent carefully, taking time to research every page on the internet about that individual.
    So far I’ve got three rejections back. At some point I decided I could do this on my own, started blogging to promote myself – which had felt scary and challenging before – and is – and told myself by the end of the series If I’m still determined to get published, I could go indie and self-publish my work on my own.

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