What Do You Write?

By Ann Ormond Fennell

I am a wife, a mother of four adult children and dare I say it a ‘Writer’, an unpublished writer.  I divide my time between Wisconsin and Ireland, spending the summer months at home, in Ireland.   I created my blog Inkpots N’ Quills in October 2009 which has been described by a fellow writer and blogger as, ‘varied from writing to life.’   Check it out. 

Last night I was asked what do you write.  The question stumped me!  I know this might sound strange but I really have not given much thought to identifying a genre for myself. Not at this stage anyway, I am an unpublished writer.  In the past saying I am “ unpublished” shuts this topic of conversation down, letting me off the hook.  Not the case this time!  I was left struggling with the question.  I floundered around trying to formulate a description of my writing.  I rather feebly said, “Life.”  Now isn’t that an all-encompassing reply.  Isn’t all writing Life! My reply dissatisfied me as much as my company.   I found myself unable to qualify what I meant by Life.  I turned to my sister in law, who has read my blog musing and asked her could she describe my writing style.  She seemed baffled by the question too!  In the crevices of my mind and emboldened by a glass of wine, I said, a fellow student in a writing class told  me once, my style reminded her of one of her favorite writers, Cathy Kelly. I was thrilled with this assessment, as I am sure you can imagine.  I turned to my sister in law and hesitantly asked what she thought.  She agreed, high praise indeed.  I am hoping it wasn’t the wine.  I love that style of writing my questioner added.    A fraction of Cathy Kelly’s publishing history wouldn’t be too shabby either.

I felt good about my writing, empowered really.  I called myself a writer and my company was not dismissing my claim as fraudulent due to my unpublished status.  But as we “writers” know this type of empowerment is tenuous.  All it will take is the glazing eyes of the next person who asks the published question and I will once again feel I am misrepresenting myself.  But for an hour on this particular night I was a writer in the eyes of my company.  Now all I need to do is pin down a genre.