Just me

Hey, it’s just me here. I’ve decided to create a separate category where I can take off my editor hat and write about anything and everything that interests me, which, after 40 years on the planet, is an awful lot.

If you know anything about me you know I love to read, love to write, and have an opinion (unfortunately) on just about everything. I wanted to create a space where I could freely share some of these opinions and life observations. I should warn you, at times what you’ll read here may be shocking. For instance, I have bought, read, and *hangs head in shame* enjoyed all four novels in the Twilight Saga (hey, I never said I’d be proud of everything I’d be writing about.)  In this post I want to talk about my professional skills – or lack of it, as some of you have correctly suspected – as a writer.

I’ve been involved in writing on the corporate level for years and as legend goes, practically started reading before I could walk. While elementary classmates were involved in baseball and basketball, I was determined to excel in my elementary school’s read-a-thon, and win the Pete Rose Reading Award. I read 72 books that summer (ok, so most of them were 10 pagers) and won that award and an autographed Pete Rose baseball bat – Booya! Back then books were my friends and my refuge from a bunch of tough Philadelphia kids who weren’t quite sure what to do with me and my thick Jamaican accent.

Fast Forward 30 years, and books are still my refuge.  The other day I counted the books on the shelves in my tiny office/guest room/extra closet – 400. 400 books that have been read and re-read over the years. There are probably at least a hundred more throughout the rest of the house.  I just love reading. And I love books. Not E-readers and Kindle and the like. Actual, dog-eared, beaten up books. Add to that the fact that I’ve been keeping journals since I was about 10 years old and you’ll realize that despite my lack of formal training, I was born to write about something, anything – if only to maintain my sanity and even if I’m the only one who ever reads it.

As traffic to the site increases and more people visit (who don’t share my DNA), it occurs to me that I should warn them – I am not a journalist. I did not major in English or journalism in college, and on some days I am completely grammar intolerant, teetering on the edge of a literary breakdown.

There will be times when although I soooo know better (Mrs. Berger would cringe), I will write about unwanted facial “here”  and use the possessive “their” when I really mean over “there.” The other day I had to double check the proper spelling of the word “bare” – as in going naked “bare.” Go ahead and shoot me now.

Sometimes I read professional bloggers (who’ve actually figured out how to get paid to write for a living) and sigh with envy at their perfect syntax, command of the English language and acerbic wit. Then I read the comments written by the English whizzes who’ve never been published anywhere and remember, you can’t please everybody.

Be forgiving when you read the posts on this site. Some of them are written by me, but a lot of them are written by women who, like me, aren’t professional writers.  Professional or not, it doesn’t make what any of us have to say any less meaningful or important. I’ll promise to remember that while I’m writing, if you try to remember it while you’re reading.

Just Me is Grace’s weekly, sometimes daily – depending on how interesting her week’s been- personal contribution to Women at Forty.

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Grace is a freelance writer and blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia.