You are a Writer, Whether or Not You Believe It

Tell yourself you are a writer and believe it. You’ll become a professional writer before long. I work more than an eight-hour day, and more than a five-day work week. I am always productive as a writer whether or not I am at my desk working. The ideas for work keep flowing, even if I am cleaning the bathtub. I think my goal as a writer, as I’ve said many times, is to share my work, so that others can enter into it. It isn’t just for my benefit.

An artist-neighbor of mine recently told me that his paintings help him express himself when his words fall short. I began to think about what he said.  Often, a particular art piece I see in a museum doesn’t speak to me, until I try to put it into words. As a writer, words help me make sense of things.

Ultimately, all artists, both visual and writers, are idea people. We work with concepts. We want to make our art accessible to others so that they can enter into it, rather than keep what we create in a box in our closet–a lonely life, for sure.

I decided a long time ago, that as a writer, I wanted to empower my readers to think creatively. I want my art to be public, and that’s why I do poetry exhibits at major libraries. Even if I reach a reader on some level, no matter how small, I may give the reader not only ideas to be creative, but ideas on how to solve a daily problem. Critical thinking is what it is about.

People can respond to our art in different ways with their own interpretations, All interpretations are valid. Hopefully, any piece of art or writing you come into contact with, will ignite your ideas and creativity.

For example, if you write poetry, your work is visual, too. It conjures up images in people’s minds, just like the work of a visual artist does. We are not born writers. The “gift” doesn’t exist in us at birth.  We learn to observe, and transmit those observations effectively to others through our writing. It is an exercise that we practice and perfect.

I hope the poetry that I write and exhibit, and the poetry that I run on this blog, just like visual art, inspires involvement from those who come into contact with it.

I think we begin to recognize that we are professional visual artists or writers when we find we think constantly about our art. That is, when you see art in everything, each waking moment. Or, you go to bed with an idea. Or you wake up during the night with an idea, or at least wake up in the morning with one or get one while you’re taking your morning shower–one that you can possibly transform into art. That’s why artists and writers keep sketch books or notepads by their beds or carry them around throughout the day.

Don’t just write. Write to share, write to have an audience, and your audience’s reactions to your work will enrich you, give you more ideas, and allow you to be the professional you want to be.

Copyright 2017 by Charlotte Digregorio.




About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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4 Responses to You are a Writer, Whether or Not You Believe It

  1. haikutec says:

    As someone who has exhibited haiku in many ways I agree to get haiku out there and make it accessible.

    Really liked this:
    “An artist-neighbor of mine recently told me that his paintings help him express himself when his words fall short. I began to think about what he said. Often, a particular art piece I see in a museum doesn’t speak to me, until I try to put it into words. As a writer, words help me make sense of things.”

    I don’t always understand art, or everything in a painting, whether it’s from bygone eras, modern, or contemporary, and I can’t always get to meet the artist.

    Haiku can be a great medium with and for art, and sometimes poets get approached for some great collaborations. I have an amazing one being planned for 2018. Here’s one from an earlier time:

    I certainly agree about the hours. When I started I studied, read, and wrote haiku for over 12 hours a day, every day. Now it’s closer to eight hours more or less, five to seven days a week.

    You said:
    “I think we begin to recognize that we are professional visual artists or writers when we find we think constantly about our art.”

    That’s so true! A keyword is constantly, and enveloping ourselves with great writing from all genres, and visual art from all genres and eras.

    Hope to meet up sometime!

    warm regards,
    co-founder, Call of the Page

  2. Reblogged this on Memorie di una Geisha, multiblog internazionale di HAIKU di ispirazione giapponese and commented:
    Condivido questo interessante articolo dal blog della scrittrice americana Charlotte Digregorio. Grazie Charlotte, condivido il tuo pensiero e le tue parole.

  3. Thank you for the reblogging, Eufemia!

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