Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Becoming a Writer

I wrote my first poem when I was five. I pounded it out on the keys of Dad’s old manual Underwood typewriter. It was sixteen words long, and I was hooked on the Power and Magic of Words. After that, I used the old Underwood every chance I got. I wrote poems and plays. A few of my fellow fourth graders performed one of my plays in class.

I was 23 when I mailed my first submission. My first rejection letter arrived soon after. I still have it. I’ve saved all my rejections. Early on, most were form letters. Eventually, many of them gave advice and criticism. And more recently, editors have asked for more of my work and to see revisions.

I kept writing. I wrote poems, short stories, and novels. One short story won a prize from the Children’s Writer in 1996. Another won a prize from them in 2011.

In 2002, I received my first acceptance letter, my first sale. It was for a poem (My Face), published in February, 2005 in Ladybug magazine.

While those contest prizes and that acceptance letter helped to validate my struggles, they did not make me a Writer. Seeing my poem in Ladybug was a dream-come-true, but that didn’t make me a Writer either. What makes me a Writer is all the time I spend doing what I love, choosing the words to put on the page, structuring them into sentences and stanzas and paragraphs.

I’ve been a Writer since I was five.

Kathy Cannon Wiechman


  1. I found your blog with a little help from a friend. I was touched by Kathy's love of writing when she was a child and how she's persevered with the craft and commitment to submitting. Congratulations, Kathy, on all your successes. I believe that more will come your way. Write on!

    Also, I wanted to become a follower, but firefox couldn't find the server??? I'll try again. In the meantime, I'll bookmark this page.

  2. Thanks, Clara. I know you too have persevered. I hope you'll be able to become a follower soon.