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Writing: On Coming Out As A Writer

Writing: On Coming Out as a Writer

Headshot of Mari Howard

English novelist Mari Howard

When Mari Howard performed this poem at the recent Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, it immediately chimed with the other authors in the room and elicited sympathetic but kindly laughter from the readers in the audience. Many thanks to Mari for allowing us to share it here for other indie authors to enjoy on this Writers’ Wednesday.

Wannabe… (2010)

You know that wannabe thing?
But you’re a writer! How lovely
I’ve always wanted to write,”
she says…

She smiles – all perfect teeth,
in her pashmina
and a little black number from Boden,
over purple leggings…

“And what do you do?” I say,
Defensive of my private imagination,
My Per Una evening wear
(last year’s style)…
and guessing…. Lawyer, paediatrician,
head-teacher, market research?

“But tell me about you,” – she presses on,
“what do you write, and
would I have heard of you?”

I notice a change of personnel, a draught,
they have begun serving puddings
in the other room…
“Let’s go through – after you,” I say… (dropping back)

Writer? If the blood drains
from the chambers of the heart
best make it art –
form this shapeless river,
make letters, words, tribute-eries to
experience…
and, let’s next time say,
housewife… mother… or even…
cleaner and homework consultant?

Or this: To be a writer’s romantic as digging the allotment in war time?
And harder on the muscles of the back?

                                                            Wannabe…

Cover of Baby, Baby

Mari Howard’s debut novel

Since penning this poem in 2010, Mari Howard has gone on to self-publish two family-based novels, Baby, Baby and The Labyrinth Year, exploring themes about science, religion and in particular genetic engineering and fertility treatment. It’s good to know that the feelings that inspired the poem did not deter her from her writing ambitions. Find out more about Mari Howard and her work on her website: www.marihowardauthor.wordpress.com

This poem about being a #writer will chime with #authors everywhere #WW Click To Tweet
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Debbie Young

Debbie Young writes warm, funny feel-good fiction, including the Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series, which begins with the bestselling "Best Murder in Show". As ALLi's Author Advice Center Manager, she also writes guidebooks for authors. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, she is a frequent speaker at other literary events. Find out more about Debbie's writing life on her author website www.authordebbieyoung.com.

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