Writing Midway: A New Writer’s Journey Begins

Ellie Jacobson
3 min readJun 16, 2020
Photo by Einar Storsul on Unsplash

You’re not a writer, my self-critic, named Karen, reminds me each day as I write. She reminds me, you haven’t been published, well recently. I remind her that I have been published. Granted it was 25 some years ago in my college newspaper but still, I’ve been published.

While I was an English major in college, I was a writing tutor, an assistant editor for the college newspaper, and a dreamer of moving to New York City to be a writer or editor. Either dream was fine with me. I abandoned college after completing two years. I felt overwhelmed with making a decision about the direction of my life.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer but it felt it was out of reach. A voice in my head screamed, write after you have lived life. So I went out and lived. I moved to a new town, got married, got divorced, moved to another new town, married, and had two awesome boys.

During all that living I’ve written only in journals. I use journal writing as a way to cope with anxiety. The thought of putting my words, fiction or nonfiction, out in the world has created more anxiety but the dream has never faded.

I have lived 23 years since I was that woman in college. I have felt lost as a person since my awesome boys are now in middle school. I adored being a mom to little kids. I loved watching them discover the world around them. As they grow, I find more time for myself. Where do I go? I feel so lost.

I sat down and had an honest discussion with myself. I wondered, what did I use to like before I was a mom? Well besides careless nights of drinking with my friends at the lake, I remembered that dream of writing and putting my words out into the world.

The first thought was I needed to fix my only regret, leaving college after two years. So I returned to college in 2017 to finish my bachelor's degree. It felt incredible to graduate last year. But I felt lost again after graduating.

In 2019 I dealt with chronic illness, specifically vertigo. I was on short-term disability, at home for 8 weeks doing nothing. I wrote to deal with the anxiety that came with that uncertainty.

Then 2020. Because of my illness, my employer suggested working from home which helped alleviate some of the anxiety that…

Ellie Jacobson

Editor at Flash Fiction Magazine & Intrepidus Ink | Flint & Steel editor | MFA candidate working on first novel | mom to 2 kitties, 2 teenage sons & many cats