Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Betwixt and Between - To Write or Not To Write

I have been at this place many times in my life, not knowing what direction to take or knowing the direction but feeling inadequate to take it.

Bar tending between reporting jobs in 2001, I looked out the window at the sugar cane bending in the blustery winds of South Louisiana thinking what the heck am I doing here and what should I do next. Surely this can't be it. I was working at a beer and shot bar on the outskirts of Lafayette. Why? I just didn't know if I wanted to stay in Louisiana. But no path opened except a reporting job that was offered six months previously. So I took it and wrote the best stories of my career. I was a beat reporter covering the three outlying parishes surrounding Lafayette and I loved it. And I was damn good at it.

At my desk at The Daily Advertiser in 2002

Once again I am at a similar point in life. After having taken a long look at big city life in Manhattan, I am back in South Louisiana asking similar questions. Can I deny my true nature, true gifts and God given talents as a writer. My friends and family say that I was happiest being a writer.

If you aren't a writer, and I mean someone who actually went to school and got a degree, then it's hard to understand. Sure there are writers who didn't attend a university, but when you get a degree in anything you are professing that that is what you want to do, what you have to do, what you are going to do. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I got straight A's in my journalism classes, minus one B+. I was recommended by the assistant dean of the journalism school for a working internship in my senior year. I was a paid journalist before I even graduated. I was made an editor upon graduation. But still I doubted my ability to write meaningful prose. I questioned that this was my true path.

However, no matter how far I try to run from it, my writing keeps pulling me back. So I am making a promise to myself to start writing and to take my craft seriously, because truly that's what I do best.

Probably the largest obstacles I have to overcome is feeling "not good enough" to write a book and the ever present fear of failing. But doesn't every writer feel that way until the writing is done and a contract is in hand. And believe me I know the naysayers will be coming out of the woodwork, saying they wrote a book only to find no one wanted it etc., etc., etc. If all else fails, self-publishing is always an alternative.

I feel I must write....so here's to honoring the path that lies before me. And let the Light lead the way!


  1. I couldn't agree more....

    I see a book, one for sure maybe more, in your future!

  2. Awe thanks Lynn....you are my biggest fan and the one who encourage me to begin this blog...thanks so much for your support. It means a lot!

  3. Barbara,

    I never realized the writer hiding inside the Great Ink persona. I thought you did a great job on my executive bio!

    Good luck. I'll keep track of this web site.

    FYI, my favorite writers are almost all southerners. Flannery O'Connor and Carson McCullers, to name two.

    Tom Fink