Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Am I a Writer?

I am assigned a number of readings for class.  One in particular impacted me both as a student and a blogger.  The book chapter was from Laurel Richardson Fields of Play: Constructing an Academic Life.  The chapter was called Good Writing Matters.
It has not been until recently that I have asked myself the question, am I a writer?  This may sound strange to ask, as I am constantly writing papers for class in addition to blogging everyday.  In my mind, to declare oneself a a writer means they are very good.
Chances are my blog posts include run-ons, typos and misuse of a number of english grammatical rules.  Does this count me out to be qualified as a writer?
When training for my first marathon I joined a running group called LA Leggers.  At the first meeting we were told to say out loud “I am a runner.”  This declaration was our first step to finishing the four month program in addition to the actual race.  It really worked.  Embrace what you seek to accomplish.  Tell others proudly, ‘I am a runner.’
I am curious person.  I enjoy learning and quite honestly could be a student the rest of my life.  I am comfortable declaring many qualities of myself such as a runner, doer, organizer or teacher.  But to say I am a writer has always gotten stuck on the edge of my tongue.  Also keep in mind, I am surrounded by extremely talented writers in the entertainment industry, including my husband.
Going back to author Richardson’s book, she wrote,

“I write because I want to find something out.  I write in order to learn something that I didn’t know before I wrote it” (1997, p. 87).

Here lies why I write.  It gave me a boost of confidence and permission to allow my intent behind writing to be the catalyst for accepting myself as a writer.
So here goes, I am a writer.
What captivated me further in this book was the following statement,

“Writing is a process of discovery” (Richardson, 1997, p. 93) and that her intention is get the reader to “accept and nuture their own voices” (p.93).

Don’t fight it.  You do not have to be the master of the topic, the skill or the english language.  As long as you allow your voice to escape your fear, you can call yourself a writer.  Just asking yourself if you are a writer is a good sign.
I feel like I have been writing a lot lately about overcoming fears, such as my post yesterday on fears and creativity.  I am learning that it is not the judgment of others that holds us back, but ourselves.
Steven Pressfield declares in the quote/image above that a real writer is scare to death and basically gives writers permission to be okay with that.  However, the quote below from Stephen King also rings true to writing.

Combining these two staements means: It’s okay as a writer to be scared, but it is not okay to let your fears win.
Richardson, L. (1997).  Fields of Play: Constructing an Academic Life.  Rutgers University Press.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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