Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Story of a Writer

CHICKS ROCK! welcomes our latest guest blogger, Moria:

Moria Byrne is an editor, blogger, freelance journalist and New York native. Her articles have appeared in: Baltimore Business Journal, Maryland Daily Record, The Jewish Times, and The Narragansett Times.

Before moving to New York, I never uttered the words “I'm a writer” out loud. I lived in Maryland where writing means government grants or medical writing for Johns Hopkins. Mostly, I didn't take my writing seriously. I wrote as a freelance journalist for a few local newspapers, but editing was how I made a living.

A few years ago, I believed the world saw writers as the mechanics of the communication world. We have the talent to put things together in a functional way most people don't--yet we're not taken seriously. Maybe it was New York's overpriced coffee or polluted air, but suddenly, I believed I'd underestimated writers. We are chameleons, I told myself. (Not out loud, of course.) Our creativity takes us in endless directions: copywriters, teachers, radio hosts, what have you. I was ready to throw my proverbial beret in the air and then it hit me. How will I make a living at writing?

My transition from editor to writer would have been easier if I'd stayed in the country. But wanderlust led me to the Philippines. When I returned to the States and attended a Media Bistro event in NYC, I experienced culture-shock. I went to a panel on the "Magazines of the Future" and was accosted with words Twitter, CMS, and RSS. I realized I was MIA. I was ready to ship myself in a ground air mail package to the country I'd just returned from where at least I spoke the local language. But being a journalist at heart, I investigated. I found social media communities were happy to share free information on the new terminology.

In a city with Ivy Leagues, Fortune 500 businesses and media leaders, I have attended seminars, found cutting edge industry information, and built my skills without more than a subway pass and wireless card. My internal software has been updated and I’m amazed at where social media could take my career. But NYC serves as both teacher and muse. Despite the lean prospects for employment in this overpopulated city, inspiration is enough reason to stay for now.

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