by Jill Greenwood
Years ago – 1992 to be exact – I graduated from college with a degree in professional writing. Back then professional writing encompassed all the components of technical writing and was pretty much as dry and boring as it sounds. For a while after the girls were born, I did a bit of freelance work, creating newsletters for a few alumni groups in my area and the occasional editing job for some articles. I thought for a while about applying to work at our local newspaper, but after looking over the front pages, it was clear they needed an editor and not another reporter. By then, the girls were getting older and in school, and I decided to go back to school and become a teacher. Writing, it seemed, was going to take a back seat to education, but as luck would have it, I channeled my efforts towards becoming a middle school English teacher. Even though I get to pass on my love of writing to seventh graders who, let’s face it, probably don’t love it quite as much as I do, I still don’t get to write very creatively. Blogging allows me to write from a personal point of view but not creatively.
About three or four years ago, I was struck by how each of Laura’s street photos formed an almost perfect story. She had the ability to hone in on something special with the people she photographed. Before we really knew each other, I commented on a photo she posted on Flickr that I wanted to write a story about the image. A few weeks later, Laura tagged me in a photo and said she couldn’t wait to see what I wrote. I tried . . . so many attempts . . . but nothing ever really came of it. That nagging bit of doubt kept bubbling to the surface. You’re not a writer. Not a real one, at least. Eventually I gave in and stopped trying.
But now, there’s a change coming. Laura and I have decided to give it a whirl. She’s supplying the images, and I’m trying to do them justice with some short stories. Some of the images lend themselves to a longer narrative with characters coming and going. Others are one shot deals, nothing more than a few paragraphs to describe the scene. I’m still not convinced I’m a writer, but I’m willing to try. Come on and join us at Les Bruyants!