Writing. My best form of communication, writing is a way for me to make sense of the problems that vex me as well as to share my inner world with others. Often I approach my treadmill time as though I'm being tortured, but I feel far worse when I don't write.
In 2001 I read and did The Artist's Way, and in early 2002 I learned about NaNoWriMo. A novel was perculating in my mind, and I didn't want to wait until November to challenge myself, but I also needed a deadline, so I created my own. I finished my novel in July 2002, but grew frustrated as I attempted to revise it. This was a process about which I knew nothing. I took a few writing workshops, including one at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival with Sharon Oard Warner, who is now my dissertation committee chair and my mentor. By August of 2003, another mentor, Joanne, convinced me that I was a fool not to take my status as a newly-single person to achieve a big dream. I applied to graduate programs, and thus began the more serious part of my journey as a writer.
Last year I felt hopeless; I wasn't writing much after my move back east, and I even thought I might not graduate. I gave myself a mental shake, though, and I've had a strong summer in terms of my writing. I'm on track to graduate in the spring, and I have an idea for yet another novel, and there are a few more short stories I think I can polish up and send out. Whereas my friend Linda Jean Fisher used to have to encourage me to say "I am a writer who supplements her income by working as a grant writer," I now say with confidence and sans hesitation simply "I am a writer."