DIY MFA Book Club: My zero moment

I am really enjoying these prompts from Gabriela (taken from the DIY MFA book). It feels good to write about my writing like this on a regular basis, it’s a good way to focus. (And write and finish something shareable in a short period of time!)

Today’s prompt is about identifying and celebrating your zero moment, which is the point where you switch from not doing writerly things to doing them. Gabriela makes the point that this step, from nothing to newbie is larger than moving from newbie to pro, yet rarely is it properly acknowledged.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint the exact moment when I really embraced writerly work and centred it in my priorities. But I do know it was around when my kids were starting school and, certainly, by the time the younger one was at school all day, in grade one, I had gone back to writing with a dedication that I had previously lacked.

I wrote before that, as I’ve said previously, as a kid and a teenager and, less so, in my early 20s. But that writing was more confessional than anything else and most of it was not intended for anyone else to read.

That shift in my mid-30s, though, was different. Because it wasn’t about going back to writing the way I had, it was about actually beginning to write in a dedicated way. Taking it seriously as art and as something that I wanted to share with others. Writing as a way of expressing the stories I felt bubbling up inside of me.

In so many ways, that shift changed everything for me. Being true to that writerly impulse made me see the ways in which I had made bad choices and compromises in other areas. And I changed those things! Out of that shift, I grew tremendously as a person.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without having taken that, at the time, very uncertain step forward.

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