I had to answer this question a few days ago. I was on my way out of a creative writing workshop I’d opportunistically attended, one of a series that formed part of the ‘Aye Write’ book festival in Glasgow (there can be no better name for a Glasgow-based literary festival). Despite my usual resolution before going in to keep to myself and contribute as little as possible, I, as usual, blethered away like the schoolgirl swot I’ve always been. I obviously did so with sufficient confidence that after the workshop, one of the other attendees asked, ‘So, are you a writer?’
I faltered, thinking about myself pottering on a keyboard at home while counting down the minutes till the school run; thinking about a few sporadic blog posts. I thought about my profession – teacher, not writer. I thought about my ‘occupation’, which I’ve had to put down on a few forms lately. I try to express it as ‘at-home parent’, but it’s often changed to ‘housewife’ or, as our bank puts it, ‘homemaker’. I do write stuff, but… ‘No…not actually a writer…’ I began. Then I thought about the fact that I am in fact about to be actually published. In an actual book. I corrected myself: ‘Well, actually, I am a writer, yes.’
It’s all thanks to the intrepid Lisa Webb, aka Canadian Expat Mom, that I can say that. She’s put together an exciting collection of writings by expat women on the subjects of travel and expat living: ‘Once Upon an Expat’. I’m really proud to be included in her collection, and grateful that my friendship with her has given me an early boost in my own writing journey.
What has perhaps made me even prouder is that two of the other writers included in the book have come to it through their connection with me, and have been inspired to be creative in a new way, with fantastic results. When you get your copy look out for the pieces by Cecile Dash (www.supermomabroad.com) and Angie Benoit – the Congo contingent represents!