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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

In high school, I took one semester of creative writing but couldn’t connect with the instructor. My English teacher loved my writing in Composition class, but my creative writing teacher didn’t seem to “get” what I wrote. As a first semester college student, I took another creative writing class and the teacher, a would-be writer herself, judged my work on subject matter than content or form. When I moved up to the area four year university I found a professor who encouraged my work and suggested that I might manage to become a writer one day.

Among the useless information I learned along the way from those early classes was my freshman creative writing instructor’s insistence that we call ourselves “authors” or even “writers”. I balked at that because it seemed to me that would generate questions such as “What do you write?” or “What have you written?”

I might admit to people that I scribbled a few stories or wrote for the campus newspaper but until I started earning both check and bylines, I would not call myself a writer. In fact, stickler that I am, I refused to call myself an author until I had a published novel.

That changed the perception of the local people where I live. My reputation as a freelance writer has soared up to new levels as I’m known as “the lady who makes the books” or “a local author”.

Waiting to earn the title mattered – at least to me.

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