I excelled in writing throughout all my years of schooling. Writing was my thing. By first grade, I was the kid from whom all the other kids sought help spelling words. My favorite part of elementary school was when we were assigned to write an illustrated book each year. I took Junior Honors English, the hardest class to ever exist at my high school. Oddly, I never pursued writing beyond high school. I was set to major in music. I guess when I started my professional career I had forgotten all about it. I’ve meddled in teaching, academic administration, corporate customer care and was even a barista for a little while. Now I’m at a crossroad. Do I continue to live in corporate life, or throw my whole self into freelancing so I can be more available to help my husband with our business, Flint Creek Records? Then it occurred to me: why am I not writing?
I’ve been receiving positive feedback about my writing for a long time.
When I was in third grade, the Young Author’s Faire awarded me with the blue ribbon for my book, The Dragon’s Dentist, in which the title character flosses his giant, sharp teeth with rope (the dragon, not the dentist. Or maybe the dentist flossed the dragon’s teeth. I can’t remember). I hadn’t been aware that my teacher had entered my work.
During my sophomore year of high school, my essay on The Merchant of Venice received an A+ and rave notes scrawled in ink across the top page. When I expressed dubiousness that I deserved such high praise, my teacher responded, “Karyna. You have daring in your writing!”
Unknowingly to me (again), a college professor submitted my recap on a rally for California gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo to the Green Party’s local newsletter, which subsequently published it. I remember staring in disbelief at my words in print against the mint ice cream-colored paper.
A few months ago, when I started posting blogs to my own website, several people told me they loved reading what I wrote, and were impressed by my writing abilities. My blog links typically yield more comments on Facebook than show promo posts, and I never could have anticipated how many people would reference my posts and congratulate me in person. I continue to receive comments about my blog every single day from new people.
In all of these instances, no one was more surprised than I. But I suppose I have considered myself a writer since the Young Author’s Faire incident, which is far longer than I’ve considered myself a musician or even a singer.
Other than a short-lived foray into the world of print (I took a semester off from being a music major and took an Intro to Journalism course, for which I quickly realized I wasn’t cut out; my social anxiety prevented me from calling to set up interviews with people), I never pursued writing as a career (if you don’t count songwriting). After almost four decades of life, it seems ludicrous to me that I haven’t exploited this skill more than I have.
As I stare down the barrel of a freelance career in the arts, I have to consider all the skills and gifts I could possibly have to offer. There are many ways to generate income as a writer. Perhaps now is not the worst timing. Blogs are a living, breathing force in the digital world, and all areas of expertise are welcome to have a voice.
What, then, could I write about? I hardly feel like an expert in anything. Am I an expert on how to be a mediocre musician, how to never finish a project and how to struggle to get past the gatekeepers of cool in my industry? How to quit a classical voice degree path after realizing I didn’t want a career conducting high school choir? How to survive teaching music full-time to classes of 4th & 5th graders while moonlighting in a cover band until I developed vocal nodes? How to be lonely in a foreign country for three months, then spend the rest of my life regretting not staying longer? How to rebuild my life after a failed marriage? How to explore 11 states in one month with my true love, drinking coffee and playing songs to minuscule audiences of strangers? How to buy a fixer upper and never quite finish the fixing up?
Maybe readers don’t always want to hear from experts who have the winning formula for success. Maybe readers want to read about people a lot like themselves with diverse life experiences. Maybe readers just want to relate to someone. If that’s the case, I have some stories for you.
New blog: “Flint Creek Family” coming soon. Follow our new social accounts for updates:
This will be my last blog post on karynamicaela.com as I will be redirecting my focus to Flint Creek Family. Thank you for your ongoing and future support.