I recently started the Writing For Children and Young Adults Masters Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, with my first residency completed in July and my first packet due to my advisor in ten days.
Already, I have found it to be a transformative experience.
During my ten days in Vermont, I made more realizations about who I am as a writer than I had in the past ten years of going through the process of becoming a published author.
That’s not to say that I learned more, it just means that I was able to step back from the process and ask questions that got to the core of who I am.
In the workshops, lectures, and conversations with faculty and classmates, one idea kept coming up, over and over: the idea of self-awareness and it being the cornerstone that everything else is built upon. As writers, we run into a lot of prescriptive advice (don’t do this, do this!), and more often than not, it overwhelms us, even stagnates us.
This is because writing is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What we need most is to explore our writer identity and then arm ourselves with the tools that will help us, as individuals, to develop our craft and to protect what is important to us.
So how does one go about exploring one’s identity as a writer? Ask lots of questions and be open to the answers. Experiment. Understand that it’s not going to happen overnight and that each day brings new challenges and new opportunities. Never stop striving to be better.
Who are you?