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  • Writer's pictureSara Parker

I'm a Writer. There--I've said it.

Updated: Jun 23

You know when you really want to do something, but there are a million reasons why you can't? I'm not talking about really wanting to win the lottery or really wanting to travel the world for a year. I'm talking about that something that you absolutely love, that something that is a part of your soul...and you don't do it anymore.

Maybe you used to run five miles every day or hit the gym before work. Or maybe you used to play the piano, the guitar, the violin. You used to experiment with new recipes or bake from-scratch pastries. You used to spend hours at a time with paint on a canvas, or boots on a hiking trail, or words on a page. You volunteered at an animal shelter, a food bank, a church. Maybe you sewed or created jewelry or dove into home improvement projects.

But somewhere along the way, you stopped. Your season changed, and now there's no time, or no money, or you honestly just don't have the energy. It doesn't seem practical, and perhaps you started to believe it's a little bit selfish. Plus, you haven't done it in so long, you'll probably be terrible at it.

What if you chose to stop believing all these self-limiting lies?

Last year, I decided to stop believing those lies and invest in a part of myself that had gone dormant: writing. I figured the best way to start was to get back to reading again. But money was tight, and the local library wasn't super convenient--both reasons which have kept me from reading many new books over the years. Two solutions: 1. the Libby app to download free books, and 2. the Goodreads app to set goals and keep track.

The next practical step (aside from actually sitting down to write because I was clearly procrastinating and fearful of what it would mean to actually invest in this part of myself) was to join writing communities. Again, money was a barrier. Two years out from my divorce as a single mom with four kids--and just reentering the workforce after many years away--every dollar had a job, and none of those jobs included paying writing club membership dues.

Determined, I researched and identified the three organizations I wanted to start with: The Writers' League of Texas, WriteSpace Houston, and Romance Writers of America. I cut corners on groceries for a few weeks to manage the lesser expenses of two of those memberships. For one, I inquired as to a scholarship and was graciously awarded a one-year membership. Here and there, I have scrounged up money for a class, or attended a free workshop (or was granted a scholarship).

And, I began to write--but differently this time. Exploratory writing, with no publication goals, no self-imposed deadlines, no expectations. I'm still in this phase of finding myself again as a writer. So far, I've experimented with two lukewarm Love Inspired Suspense stories, a messy memoir, a revival of an old dual timeline novel, a dramatic and heartwarming women's fiction story, and at least a dozen half-baked freelance pitches.

Progress is slow. And I can blame that on a lot of things: working full time, parenting, managing a household, and also working part-time as an adjunct English professor does not leave much free time. Excuses, excuses. The true culprit, if I'm honest, is self-doubt.

I'll be turning 45 next month, and I'm thinking it's past time to embrace this writing journey, come what may. I'll be writing about that here.

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