Kylie Ladd’s recent post at Mama Mia about feeling like she disappeared after her children were born got me thinking about the way I view myself. For me, it wasn’t a case of losing myself once I had children. Even before children came along, I had trouble finding direction and a well-defined sense of purpose. There has always been a rather vague nagging sense that I have been simply marking time rather than fulfilling my potential.
I’ve started a university Arts degree several times, only to postpone studies time after time due to family commitments. I even joined Mensa in an attempt to prove to myself that my brain still worked, even if I didn’t feel like I was using it all that often. Aside from the initial thrill of actually qualifying for membership, all that really got me was the opportunity to buy Meredith at Oh, The Thinks you Can Think a Mensa coffee mug, which she promptly defaced with Shrek stickers. Some people have no sense of respect.
When I started writing, I finally found something about which I was passionate and that I enjoyed. I’ve loved writing as the World Literature Feature Writer for Suite101 and everything that has taught me about writing for the web. I love having books to review and have really enjoyed the opportunity to promote some awesome authors. I’ve also enjoyed blogging and sharing some more personal thoughts and observations.
I felt exceptionally blessed this year when my writing at Suite101 and here at Reading Upside Down led me into a partnership with Sydney author and artist Ursula Kolbe to co-author a book about children’s creativity. Writing this book has really confirmed for me that this is what I want to do. I want to be a writer.
Finally, I have a clear sense of what I want to do, but I’m left with a rather vague sense of the details. If the advice ‘Write what you know’ holds true, what am I actually qualified to write about? I can’t write fiction (trust me, I’ve tried and it wasn’t pretty) and my lack of professional qualifications seems to narrow my writing opportunities somewhat. No university degree, no trade qualifications, no extensive on-the-job experience.
I am, as I’ve mentioned before, a bit of a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. I’m a wife and mother of three primary school-aged children, an eclectic and enthusiastic reader, a lapsed Mensan, a passionate advocate of children’s reading and creativity, a maths geek, a board game junkie, a fashion tragic, a chocoholic and tea addict, an ex-medical typist, a Christian, a lover of gadgets and an adamant believer in the power of encouragement. I can research a topic to death and love to play with words.
I’m not sure what all the above qualifies me to write about. What do you think? I’m open to suggestions.by