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WritingPoetryJust four little words

Just four little words

Ever since my third grade librarian helped me to form my first publication, I considered myself a writer. At the wild and brazen age of 9, I didn’t understand how ridiculous it was to consider yourself a writer at such an early age. I mean, there are retirees that have been writing for years that still consider themselves wannabe or aspiring writers.

My little book, The Princess That Learned a Lesson, self-published and hand-written in third grade.

Over the past 17 years, I have tried my hand at journalism, health stories, genealogy, how-to articles, blogging, newsletters, poetry, biography, science fiction, short stories, brand story, web copy, technical writing, and even a screen play.

Coming to grips with the fact that each one of these genres require a specific expertise that I am not just automatically good at, has been a humbling experience. My writer glow was squashed early on as an adult when I learned the hard way that each style of writing had to be practiced and studied A LOT and some people just won’t get your writing. Like ever. Last year, I decided to hand myself over to the professionals. First, I did a four-month internship with the local newspaper to learn what I’d miss while being away from the craft for 11 years. A year later, I am still working on remembering rules for numerals and how many quotes you can get away with before it reads like an act from a screen play.

 All it takes is four words

Monday, I submitted an article about a local activity that historically has had some political overtones. I was so nervous about saying everything the right way that I had a hard time writing anything down. I finally submitted the article Monday evening. Within an hour, I received a response from my editor with just four words:

This is good copy

For those of you who may not know journalism speak, this is one of the highest compliments your editor can offer.

Seeing how my work as a reporter improved with a little practice and dedication, I have since taken classes in newsletter design, blogging, content marketing and reunited with my writing critique group. I have been chopped and diced 8 ways from Sunday as I find my niche, my style in each of these different art forms. A glutton for punishment, however, I decided to pull together my poetry from the last 12 years into a manuscript only to find that I have more work to do than I originally anticipated. After I scraped my pride up from off of my living room carpet, I decided that I had already ran my mouth to too many people in life and social media to quit the project. That was two weeks ago. Since then, I have spoken with a creative writing instructor, received a couple reader reviews, shared some with my writing critique group, and attended a poetry workshop that helped me to figure out a way I could strengthen a few poems. Next week, I begin working with a professional editor.

Today, a reader for my poetry manuscript, who is a published poet, responded to me via email with four words:

I love your pen!

Just like that. With the exclamation point and everything. How does that make me feel?
Well, I guess I could sum it up in four words:
I could die now.
#trustory
Written by -

Leslie discovered the power of the pen in the third grade after her family moved to a new school district. Writing became a way to sort out her new surroundings and escape to fantasy landscapes. That child, and voice, has matured into a poet, writer, blogger, journalist, online content creator and editor. Leslie is a social entrepreneur with a demonstrated commitment to community. She is an active community member in Washtenaw County (Michigan) with expertise in social media marketing and content management systems, volunteer coordination and writing and 19 years of experience in the areas of online community management, training, leadership development, and social networking. She is interested in facilitating connection with both community residents and businesses. Through this work, the economy of the community is improved and the organizations are financially successful. Her main mode of advocacy and online community, however, is through writing.

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