What am I?
One may wonder why I have responded to Geoff Le Pard‘s challenge almost immediately when there are other invitations that have lain opened but unanswered for longer than I like to admit. For example, some months ago Anne Goodwin tagged me in a writing process blog hop. She shared the what, how and why of her writing process and invited me to share mine. She applied no pressure or time constraints and neither nudged me to comply nor chastised me for not having done so. Not quite as long ago Sherri Matthews tagged me in a work space blog hop. She shared beautiful images and descriptions of her delightful Summerhouse writing space and invited me to share mine. Sarah Brentyn then shared some questions for writers that I hinted I might answer, but haven’t yet.
Why the procrastination?
- I’m still figuring out what kind of writer I am and how to describe my process.
- My writing space isn’t all that exciting. It’s a just a laptop sitting on a desktop that is cluttered with books and other paraphernalia waiting to be organised or dealt with, and surrounded by shelves filled with more of the same; not a bad analogy to my writing process perhaps.
- I’ve been working in other quadrants, dealing with ‘easier’ stuff as it arises.
As with Geoff’s challenge, responses to these blog hops are not compulsory and there is no set time-frame but I do wish to, and do intend to, answer them. Thank you Anne, Sherri and Sarah for your patience. I will get there. Eventually.
My procrastination is in part due to the way I view myself as a writer.
I find it difficult to define the “type” of writer I am. That I am a writer is true. But what kind? I wonder if I am a writer without a label, without a box?
Perhaps if you can help me answer this I’ll be more confident about joining in conversations about writing.
I am not a novelist, not a poet, not a biographer or an auto-biographer, not a picture book writer . . . I am an educational writer, incorporating something of each genre.
I remember doing a psychometric test at some past time. The results suggested that a desire to be everything to everybody would be my undoing. Perhaps that is also an issue with my writing?
Sometimes when asked by other writers what type of writing I do, for want of another label I refer to myself as an educational writer. I immediately feel a shrinking away as if educational writing isn’t ‘real’ writing and I’m perhaps not a “real” writer.
“Oh educational writing,” they judge, “that’s so prescriptive. It’s not creative.”
Sure I have done my share of prescriptive writing. The “writing” for which I have been employed for the past three years is definitely prescriptive – more cross the “t”s and dot the “i”s without a modicum of creativity; and as my list of publications shows, I have written workbooks for other publishers, “prostituting” myself one kind-hearted friend suggested. But there are worse ways to earn a living, right?
I don’t consider my self-initiated educational writing as prescriptive. Most of what I write is designed to encourage thinking, problem solving, creativity, interest in a variety of topics, or develop literacy and numeracy skills, but definitely not in a structured, skills-oriented, prescriptive approach. I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and open ended materials that encourage children to question. I love to add a touch of humour where possible and mostly aim for engaging materials that motivate thinking and learning.
My current writing schedule involves writing content for this blog and for an in-progress online store of early childhood educational resources.
So, what sort of writer am I?
There is one I know I am not. I am not a songwriter.
I nominate Anne Goodwin, Sherri Matthews and Sarah Brentyn to take up this Five Photos Five Stories challenge if and when they so choose. But they need to be aware that I require no more of them than they have expected of me!
The “rules” of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post.