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January, 2008

Judy Adourian Newn Mag

The Write Answer
Say it with confidence
By  Judy Adourian

How you earn money to pay bills is not the point - confidently express you're a writer.
If you had interviewed me fifteen years ago when I entered the “real world” as a college graduate, our dialogue would have gone something like this:

"What do you do for a living?"

"I work for an insurance company and do a little writing during my lunch hour."

"Have you been published in anything I would have read?"

"No. Well, yes, sort of, I mean, not in anything you would have read."

"Do you really think you can support yourself as a writer?"

"Dare I dream?"

From my answers, you probably wouldn't have guessed that creative writing was my passion. You'd never think that I'd written several poems, short stories, and plays – and that some of my work had appeared in small publications and on the college stage. If you were a publisher or had a connection to a publisher, you probably wouldn't think of passing along any networking information to me. Yet, fifteen years ago I was as determined to make a career out of free-lance writing as I am today.

So, why the bashful, self-deprecating answers?

Two reasons. First, like most creative people, deep down inside I'm introverted. Hard enough for me to brave rejection by the publishing world by submitting my "blood, sweat, and tears" manuscript, am I really such a glutton for punishment that I would readily open myself up to public criticism? Let's face it, anyone who can place words into a sentence believes he can write a book and, more frighteningly, believes he can make suggestions about mine.

Secondly, we artistic types often get asked well-intentioned yet intrusive questions from family and friends that can put one's already fragile ego to the test. Many times the words being asked wouldn't be nearly as damaging if said in a better tone – or at least by a total stranger. We could simply write them off as ignorant. But when it's Uncle Joe or good friend Beatty taking a stab at your vocation, the jab draws blood. Besides, has Uncle Joe ever asked a doctor, "Have you ever done any surgeries I would have seen?" Or "Do you really think you can support yourself as a doctor?" Even my "day job" as a personal life insurance customer representative didn't elicit the same interrogation that my writing caused.

So, how do we change public opinion and convince the world that the occupation of free-lance writer requires just as much discipline, dedication, and skill as any other occupation? If you're like me and you're serious about your calling as a writer, you’ll reply to such prickly questions with the "write' answer.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I am a writer." That's right, just say it. Even if the job that pays the bills is that of a customer service representative, answer with your passion: I am a writer. Even if your novel has been rejected by one hundred publishers – answer: I am a writer. Even if you don't yet believe you are (especially if you don't yet believe you are) – answer: I am a writer. The more you say it, the stronger your conviction will become and, in turn, the truer a reality it will be.

"Have you been published in anything I would have read?"

"Currently, I am pre-published." This is a truthful and positive declaration that not only allows the questioner to know you're serious but also invites future cosmic opportunities into your life. Before long, you'll be able to change your answer to, "Buy a copy of this magazine (newspaper, anthology, chapbook, novel, etc.) and you can read something I've written."

"Do you really think you can support yourself as a writer?"

"That's what I'm working toward." Again, this statement shows forward thinking genuine intention that will attract the success you desire.

Above all, remember this: you determine what success means to you. Today’s success might be to answer, "I am a writer," without cracking your voice. Tomorrow's success might mean finishing the first draft of a novel. Success a year from now might mean physically being able to send a manuscript to a publisher.

Take pride in each accomplishment you set for yourself. Celebrate each step on your creative path. Answer every question you’re asked with sincere purpose. Create your "write" answers and enjoy the "write" success.

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Judy L. Adourian is the owner of Writeyes, the Executive Editor for NEWN magazine, and the Rhode Island Regional Representative for the International Women's Writing Guild. She is currently developing an innovative workshop based on her philosophy of cross-crafting and multi-marketing. She can be reached through her website at

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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