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The Makings of a Writer

Wife, mother, writer—or in other words, the modern-day Superwoman!

Billie Jo Raucci performing poetry, at one of her shows in Gages Lake, Illinois.

Billie Jo Raucci performing poetry, at one of her shows in Gages Lake, Illinois.

Writing is a learned behavior. We begin learning how to read and write when we are young. Some of us even take the time to harness those writings skills and turn them into an artform. Starting in my early years, I worked really hard to shape and mold my writing into something that I can be proud of.

My Early Years

It seems that I have been writing for, as long as, I can remember. The idea of streaming words together to create poems and short stories was my favorite pastime as a child. It was a game to me. I can scarcely remember a day when I wasn’t writing, reading, playing word games or looking up new words in a dictionary. My mom often told me to get my head out of the books and go outside to play. She wanted me to be active, but I was the child that always completed the summer reading lists. I would rather have my nose in a book, instead of playing outside.

If you want to be a writer, I suggest learning new words and playing around with sentences. Write every day, even if it's just a paragraph. The key to becoming a good writer is practice. So write, write, and write some more.

Advice to young writers:

  • Read every chance you get
  • Try different forms of free writing and writing prompts
  • Learn new words daily
  • Play word games
  • Keep a journal

If you are a young writer, I encourage you to talk to your teachers about the ways that you can improve your writing. Also, find out if your school or local library has a writing club that you can join. Writing is fun and educational, so never stop! It is a skill that you take with you, your whole life through.

The Teen Years

Later in my teen years, I wrote many poems as I went through the crazy, emotional days of being a teenager. My friends and I even started writing in notebooks that we passed around. One of us would start the story and then pass it to the next person to let them write and so on and so forth. These books became known as ‘the notebooks’. I dare not even think of what ridiculous and unholy teenage things we said in those books. Those were days where we were still finding our true selves and growing up. It was a fascinating time where we chose to be creative and share our thoughts without being judged by others. We even used writing as a stress reliever. If one of our friends was having a bad day, it was their turn to write it out. The writing was like medicine back then. Often times, it took away our frustrations and left us giggling at the silly stories we had created.

When I was a teen, the internet was not as developed, as it today. Now there are so many wonderful websites where teens can grow and develop their writing including:

Don't get discouraged while you are learning. Writing is a journey. Be open to learn all that you can as a teenager and then begin to develop these skills when you go on to college. Join a writing club at your school or become part of your school's newspaper staff. Have fun with it! Writing is a chance to create something great with your own words. So take the time to learn every chance you get.

My College Days

When I went to college, I took every English class I could from women’s literature to creative writing, poetry, and so on. I was studying to be a nurse at the time, but writing was my first love. I joined the literary arts society at my college and soon became the club president. Those were some of my favorite college memories. My poetry was just starting to get noticed and I was learning to polish my writing. Not long after starting college, I founded and began hosting a poetry show at a local venue, near my home. I hosted this show for a while on my own and eventually, I found a wonderful co-host who taught me about the poetry world. We brought in many talented spoken word artists and slam poets from around the United States as guest speakers and featured artists. It was through that monthly poetry show where I overcame my fear of public speaking. This was just one more step on my way to becoming a valid writer.

I learned there were several ways you can expand your writing in college:

  • Check out the writing clubs and literary art societies your college offers.
  • Take more creative writing classes
  • Visit your college library or local library to see more writing groups or writing workshops
  • Write in a journal often
  • Start a Blog (Wordpress or Medium are great places to start!)

Life threw me curve balls during my college years. I soon decided not to become a nurse and I took on various odd jobs. Until one day, I was drowning in the mediocrity that my life had become. I had a passion for writing that I needed to get out to the world. I finally realized, I just had to do it. I had to write. I dove headfirst into a writing career. Learning to make a living as a writer has been quite a struggle for me with many ups and downs. However, it has also been a wonderful road to self-discovery. I have learned so much about myself from my journey as a writer. Don't let the curveballs stop you from making your dreams come true. Every bump in the road is an opportunity to learn and grow.

I have made good money freelancing. Take the time, to look into writing ebooks and self-publishing too! Everyone's path is different. Be sure to do what works for you as a writer. It takes time to make good money and become distinguished, but the rewards are amazing. For more on writing, ebooks check out this YouTube Video.

Today and Looking Toward The Future

I am still building my writing career. Sometimes, I severely dislike writing for other people, some days it completely fascinates me. My ultimate goal is to write more for myself. I continue to write every day in hopes of reaching that goal. Recently, I published my first poetrybook and it is available on Amazon! (Link to my book below)

I am on the verge of something great when it comes to my writing. I just have to reach the top of this mountain. It takes small steps in the right direction to fulfill your dreams. It doesn’t matter if you are taking baby steps or giant elephant steps. You just have to keep moving forward, onward and upward.

My best advice to any new writer is just do it. Start writing whatever comes to your mind. Write every day. Learn new writing techniques and grammar. The more you write, the better you will become. Happy Writing!!


© 2017 Billie Raucci

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