Friday, December 16, 2011

I Swagger

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Today we are participating in this blogfest and re-posting a post. We give you one of our first posts from October 2011. Check out other top-notch re-posts by bopping to the other sites listed at:

to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence.

Swaggerer Jon Egan circa 1980's

 A few years ago, I hardly swaggered. I more or less staggered.

When at my husband's work functions, people would ask what I did for a living. I would stammer, “Oh, I'm a stay-at-home mom.” On occasion with a couple drinks in me, I might even blurt out, “I write sometimes.” But the follow-up question would leave me staring like a deer in headlights, “So, what have you published?”

At that time I had published a poem in a children's book ( ). I had attended conferences, belonged to a critique group, was writing my first novel, and had written for as long as I could remember. But I had no confidence in myself as a writer. I didn't have any credentials to call myself a writer.

All of that changed though.

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with our third child, an opportunity came into my inbox from the Highlights Foundation ( ). For years, I had been getting their newsletter about workshops for writers and though I really wanted to go, I knew it wasn't a financial priority. But I decided to apply for a scholarship. I was working on my second YA novel and I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Despite my collection of over 50 rejection letters from publishers, I applied.

It wasn't long before I received an e-mail that invited me to Honesdale, PA, for a YA Novel workshop with Rich Wallace ( ). The foundation covered most of the cost for the workshop. I was elated. Someone aside from my husband believed in me as a writer. So we scraped up enough money for a plane ticket and I was off.

 Swaggerer Rich Wallace

Needless to say, I found my voice. And I learned how to be confident in it.

I made life-long friends that believed in me, encouraged me and inspired me.

After my third daughter was born, our family experienced a traumatic event ). It changed us all, forever. But the one thing that remained intact was my voice. I wrote my way through grief, and two years later I am still writing.

Swaggerer Melissa Kline

In fact, I am doing more writing than ever and I am doing it with swagger. It is something no one or circumstance can take from me. 

I challenge you to find your voice and swagger, too.
The Guilt of Honesty  

Looking over a cliff
and if I don't take the first step
I will fall
or be pushed by circumstance
into the jagged rocks below.
Swaggerer Kim Van Sickler

But if I jump
calculate my velocity,
I will hit
the cool water

where I can swim
Maybe even bask on a rock
Swaggerer Kathy Cannon Wiechman
cleansing in sun and water,

before I climb
back up the cliff face
inch by inch.

And onto the path
that leads

Swaggerer Graziella Buonanno  
by Regina Gort

Swaggerer Juliet Bond (second pink shirt from left)

Swaggerer Regina Gort


  1. Great post! And I simply looooove the poem at the end!

  2. Oooo . . . swagger is hard for me. I don't mind confidence, but I guess swagger has a conceited, full of yourself spin for me. My bad, probably. But I agree philosophically. ;)

  3. Swagger is more than confidence. It's knowing your voice has merit. But it doesn't have to be arrogant.

    It's a way to walk that makes people turn their heads and say I want to do that too.

    Don't fear the swagger, Donna. Embrace it ;)

  4. Confidence has been a lifelong struggle, but now I swagger with the best!

  5. It's nice that you found your voice and your confidence, though I've always found that the confidence isn't always as necessary as people think.

  6. As long as lack of confidence doesn't stop you from doing what you love to do or causes you to stop doing it publicly because you think you're no good. :)

  7. I do try to write with swagger, even though the real life version is anything but. Writing workshops can help bring out our inner swagger, if your open to the experience. Excellent post!

    Thank you for taking part in the blogfest and helping to make today so special! :)

  8. Definitely enjoyed this post and look forward to perusing your blog! Nice to meet you on Deja Vu!

  9. I have trouble finding my swagger, but it's there...somewhere!

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  10. Hi, ladies! Checkin' in from the Déjá Vu blogfest. :) I love the title of your blog! I think I'm going to make one of my new year's resolutions be to find my writerly swagger. :) Hope you all have a great weekend!

  11. Hello! I'm a new follower from the DejaVu Blogfest. Nice to meet you! :)

    And, now I want to find my swagger!

  12. Congrats on winning that scholarship to the Highlights Foundation! That's so awesome. I enjoyed this repost. Love the swagger! That's so cool!

  13. Awww thank you for sharing this story!

    So I had such a severe swagger my whole life that it actually caused me physical problems and I'm now in PT, where I've been given strict orders to drop the swagger and walk like a normal person.

    Only me. :P

    And the reference in my title is a joke off Good Will Hunting - I'm not sure why I thought people would actually get

  14. Congrats on finding your swagger! I still hide behind the day job whenever someone asks what I do. Until I get something "out there" I don't feel like answering that string of questions...

  15. That's a touching story! I think it's universal for all writers to experience confidence issues. The business is so subjective, how can we not? I'm glad you found your swagger. I'm looking forward to going to ThrillerFest, a writer's conference held annually in NYC. It might not be this year as I have priorities with my son who'll be leaving for college. But it's my dream. and I'll never give up on it. Just like I'll never give up on finding an agent or getting published someday. I'll swagger even more then!

    (I'm a new follower via the Deja Vu blogfest.)

  16. Hi Swagger, nice to meet you.

    Most days I do SWAGGER. Boy, oh boy, do I have a voice. Sometimes I should just shut up, but I don't. Today I needed to be reminded. Thanks.

    I'll be back.

  17. It's so great to connect to others that have found their swagger. Welcome, this is a place to swagger openly.

    We are all about promoting and supporting each other as well.

    Swagger On!

  18. So happy to come across this post through the blogfest.

    I also had a problem with swagger. Still do, but I'm better. I'm a writer who has 2 published short stories and another one coming soon. I'm a teacher who is searching for her own classroom. I have to own it.