To quote Miz Maudie, “If you’re goin’ to write, you better put on some comfortable walking shoes ‘cause, Honey, there ain’t a bit of tellin’ where all your writin’ is gonna take you!”
Believe me, I’ve worn out lots of shoes over many miles across the U. S. and Canada through the years.
Yet I never thought of myself as a writer until maybe seven years ago when looking at our Creative Minds Writers Group, I realized I was the only one earning entire living from writing.
Until then, when asked about my work, I’d always say I was a speaker — in costume, a country humorist and in my good suit, an inspirational speaker.
But in that monthly meeting it dawned on me that all my speaking as one or the other or as a team of “two”, each appearance represented months-to-years of preparation – all written first!
Hey, I told myself, I’m a writer!
The interesting thing, at the time I already had hundreds of articles, several poems and a book, all published traditionally by submitting and having my work accepted. Even as author I was speaking at long-term health care conventions – yet last one to know I’m a writer!
Because some of you have met and followed me through the years at retreats, conventions, banquets, in-services, on-line, etc., and ask what’s the latest, I’ll bring you up to date on how writing continues to change the direction of my life.
Here in Southeast Louisiana our writers group presents an annual Berries, Bridges and Books Writers Conference, bringing in writers and wanna-be’s from several states. Talk about work!
This year was going to be mine – complete books and music you continue to ask about. But for over six months, helping put that conference together meant eight-to-fourteen hours a day, day after day. It was a success and now it’s my turn come August!
So in answer to your questions of what else have I been doing: I write a weekly column in a regional newspaper and a semi-occasional-every-now-and-then article for a local. I’ve accepted a few editing jobs and am co-authoring a book of encouragement with a gentleman. I edit and submit another columnist’s work for him.
I’m not clergy but some area pastors have learned what you’ve known for years, that I speak as myself and they have me fill in when they’re out of town. I was honored this spring to speak at a weekly community Lenten service. The first non-clergy, the first woman and the first to fill the building! You know how I love my people. A professional meeter-greeter. In fact, the pastor said, “Usually at these services we give a lengthy introduction but from this crowd, all I’m going to say is ‘Welcome to the Friends of Kathryn Martin Fan Club. Take it away, Kathryn!’”
I’m asked to do a few funerals each year, writing first, doing what my late second-mom, co-writer, co-speaker, Jacklyn Welch Shockley, taught me, “Pay tribute to the one who’s gone on and bring comfort to those left behind.” Recently I did my first pet memorial.
So writing and speaking about writing seem to be the directions my life has taken these last few years. I’ve even done a booklet on “Helpful Hints if You’re Ready to Write.”
If writing is something you do or have wanted to do, let me highly recommend subscribing on-line to www.fundsforwriters.com by C. Hope Clark. Great newsletters on writing, marketing ourselves and our works, contests, job suggestions and more. PLUS, I’m happy to say Hope accepted an article I submitted and it’s to appear in August! So look for me any day now.
You are not forgotten as you’ve touched my life even as I’ve touched yours. Keep a smile and give plenty away! Until we smile face to face again … Kathryn