Reason To Write: To Find My Voice

Lori Widmer: Writer and Editor Extraordinaire

In a continuation of Freelancedom’s Reason To Write series, I introduce to you veteran writer and editor Lori Widmer. I love her story because it reminds me of my own… the story of a young girl who barely spoke, yet found her voice in the writing of poetry. I’m sure many of you will be able to relate to it as well. Thanks, Lori, for sharing your story!

If you knew me, you’d be shocked to learn that I spent the first three decades of my life as a shy introvert who couldn’t seem to find a way into conversations. Until I was about 10, you probably wouldn’t remember a conversation with me at all. I wouldn’t talk. At home my parents wished to God I’d shut up, but once you got me in school, at a relative’s house, or even at the neighbor’s house next door, I would clam up. In school I wouldn’t talk above a whisper unless the teacher called on me because, in my pint-sized mind, I thought my voice sounded different, weird.  I was afraid of being heard.

Maybe that’s why I wrote when I was young. When we were 8 and 10 respectively, my sister and I had a “newspaper” we’d sell to the neighbors for five cents. The news consisted of battles we’d had with our brother, cats’ birthdays, and happenings in our little neighborhood (like someone getting a new bike).  We had a subscriber base of two — the next-door neighbor and my mother.

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