baby beeI took this picture on a Spring day on my balcony in France five years ago.

It sounds so poetic, living in France. And it really was. We lived la vie bohème, hovering just above the poverty line that we hardly noticed, in a small village an hour south of Paris. And that was where my writing began to take actual form and shape and no longer was a past time I did whenever I had spare time. For I always wrote, but not with the mind that it could become a career.

At the only English speaking service at a local church, a new friend told me about her writing group. Well, that’s not quite true. She convinced me to come “just once” to her writing group that met every other week in someone’s apartment in Paris and if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to return. The first meeting was rough. I knew no one aside from her and I was in awe to find a one bedroom apartment filled with some twenty writers, all of whom looked the part and had that pensive studious air about them. There, over wine, bread, and cheese, we critiqued our works. The group became less intimidating as the morning wore on. No one laughed me out of the apartment for being so young in my writing. Fellow writers gave me feedback that put my work through a refiner’s fire. And I, in return, found my comments were considered important too.

After that first meeting, I called myself a writer.  Or as other friends have put it, a pre-published author. I like the ring of that more. It’s hopeful and solid. Something I know I can hold onto proudly when the wolves come ’round or self-doubt starts to creep in.

And just like my little bee above, I will continue to work on my craft, heedless of the “wind” blowing me about.

For I am a writer and will always be.

So on that note, back to work for there is still much to be done!