The Writer's Voice
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The Writer's Voice
Coffeehouse Essay Contest Winners

Of Writers and Roses
    by Jennifer Revai

My neighbor, Sue, is a gardener.  Her lavish rose bushes are great sources of pride and inspiration to her.  She is also an accountant.  That's how she pays the bills.  But number crunching doesn't ignite Sue's fervor the way gardening does, and no one thinks her less of a gardener because her craft fails to generate income.

Personally, I grow nothing better than dandelions.  Then again, gardening is not my forte.  My passion is writing.  It is the creative outlet that maintains my equilibrium and gives my soul purpose.  Writing defines me.  Even so, no one knows me as a writer. 

I keep my writing private, intending to give away the secret of my true identity only on that glorious day when publication becomes a reality.  Never mind that I have been writing since a pen first landed in my hand or that I am happiest in front of my word processor.  Forget the muse.  Forget the unparalleled need to just sit and write.  Somehow I trained myself to believe that ultimately, publication alone makes the writer.

Sue's passion blooms in full view of the neighborhood.  She doesn't fence in her yard to keep others from noticing and she isn't concerned with people who prefer yellow roses to her crimson collection. 

I have always imagined that someday, I, too, will let the neighbors see.  I dream of rattling rooftops, and dwarfing the glorious flowers next door, with the news that I have been published and am indeed a writer.  But that will come another day.  Today I think I am ready to call myself a writer anyway.  I might even take down a few fences and allow others to see that a rose is a rose before the first bloom.  Then maybe someday, maybe soon, an editor will agree.

Jennifer Revai is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two young sons.  She has a BA in political science and is currently pursuing a career as a freelance writer. For her winning essay, she receives free enrollment in the new Coffeehouse for Writers Online Workshop,
Writing Fiction 101.

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