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How To Be A Writer

If you want to be a writer, the steps you have to take are simple:
1. Write.
Yup.  That’s it. Whether anyone reads what you write, regardless of if you’re published or not, if you’re   a writer, you write. Just like if you’re a teacher, you teach. If you’re a dancer, you dance.  If you’re a chef, you cook.  
You get the picture.
What is it about becoming a writer that folks find so difficult? Is it because so many of us are so used to being in a state of wanting something to happen, that we don’t realize there’s nothing to wait for, we can actually make it happen just by writing? Maybe it’s because the more emo we are as writers, the more tragic, the more wanting, the better our stories are?  Whatever it is that is stopping you from being the putting the pen to the paper, er, the fingers to the keyboard, you have to learn to push those things to the side, stop waiting for someone for…something, and get those thoughts out!
For years, I called myself a playwright. I had dozens of plays that I had started but never finished. Lots of scraps of paper with pieces of dialogue on them.  Plot ideas, cast lists.  It wasn’t until I decided that I was going to turn those scraps of paper into scripts, have auditions, and produce my plays that I actually became a playwright.  So what if the scripts weren’t actually complete before auditions, or that I was still making revisions during rehearsal. Whatever. I was a playwright, and that’s all that counts!
Lela Davidson, the author of Blacklisted from the PTA, is one of those folks who is a writer.  She’s also a mom, a humorist, and my colleague (!!!) with iVillage iVoices (among other things). Lela took her life experiences, and her amazing ability to tell a story, and created a book of hilarious essays about parenting life. You don’t have to be a mom to enjoy these stories at all. Lela’s book was published last July, and she, and all of the people that absolutely adore her, are celebrating the book’s birthday all month!  
Birthdays are a great time for reflection, so I want all of you writers to dust off your keyboards, reflect on your life, dig in your memory bank for some interesting tales, and just write. Fortunately for one of you, Lela has offered up some inspiration. She is giving one of my readers a signed copy of her book, Blacklisted from the PTA!  This book had me cracking up, and it’s absolutely what you need to read before school starts in the fall. Not only that, but Lela’s essays are motivation for letting it all hang out, for being transparent, and for sharing your true self. 
What will you write about this week?  Leave me a comment, and you’ll be entered to win the signed copy of Blacklisted in the PTA!  (Of course, if you can’t wait, you can totally purchase it now). The contest closes next Sunday, July 15th at 9 PM EST.  Good luck!