Natalie Bright

“In ten years, do you see yourself as a middle grade author?” An editor posed this question to me at my very first pitch session. I was terrified, so of course I squeaked out a ‘yes’.

Many, many years later I’m older and wiser, toughened by rejection, and ever hopeful, which is why I can honestly say ‘No.’ I see myself as a productive, published author who is not afraid to write the ideas that are in my head.

This past weekend I heard a speaker who is a retired rodeo, bull rider. Chimp Robertson has written a family memoir, two volumes of rodeo tales, short stories, freelanced for magazines, and is currently working on a western fiction series. Also, he happened to know someone who knew the country singer Chris LeDoux. Long story short, LeDoux recorded two of his songs. Chimp Robertson is a former rodeo cowboy who writes.

His program at the Texas High Plains Writers meeting inspired me to think about a memoir I wrote about a devastating loss. I published it on Smashwords as an eBook, but have had numerous requests for a hardcover edition. It’s time to explore all of the possibilities that this book might become. (Stay tuned.)

I understand now that, if you let them, words can take you on a journey to places you’ve never thought possible. I know that a jumble of sentences can become a short story. I’m rethinking an unmarketable middle grade idea that might work better as a picture book. Your family memoir could lend material for a fictional series. As writers, do we have to be labeled?

Author. Songwriter. Poet. Creative. Playwright. Published. Freelancer. Wordsmith.
Happy. Successful. Writer.

In 2016, I hope you write and realize all of the labels you can ever imagine.