I recently changed the name of my blog. It’s a pretty subtle change, but it illustrates a big difference in the way I think about myself, my writing and my blogging.
The old blog name was:
Jill of All Trades
and the new blog name is:
Jill of All Genres
What’s the difference, you might ask yourself. Well, I should probably tell you a little story of why I called myself “jill of all trades” to begin with.
It used to be, when I was a student, I had about a hundred part time jobs. All at the same time. I was a partner in a small literary agency, I was a writer, but I also watched houses (and pets) while folks were out of town. So, at one point I made a business card for myself. Let me insert a picture of the card here:
One of my mentors scoffed at me including all the various jobs on my business card, especially “housesitter,” but it was one of the ways I made my living. Also, I didn’t feel like I could just claim “writer,” not at that time. The card would have felt so blank, with nothing to hide behind if it had just said:
Emilie Staat, Writer.
When I graduated from the MFA program at LSU, my card was woefully out of date. I no longer agented. I no longer housesat. But I still wrote. Not only that, but I was now a Master of Fine Arts and a great pun occurred to me. And hence, my new business card:
And this card served me well until I ran out of them and then dithered about my new business card. I’d had the old ones cheaply made at Kinko’s and they no longer had the striking pink paper or the same business card service. It was time to upgrade to a nicer card anyway. Something like Jamey‘s gorgeous business cards. But as I’ve said, I dithered and stalled.
But now I know why.
I am now at a place in my life where I have many jobs and commitments again, but almost every single one of them is related to my talents and interests as a writer. Jill of All Trades has become misleading because I am not a waitress or a carpenter or a lawyer or a computer technician like other writers I know. I only operate within one trade these days, a trade that has many facets, which we often call genres.
I have finally built a life for myself, rocky though it almost always is, where I use my writerly instincts and experiences to make a living. How and when did this happen? It’s so surprising that it’s easy to forget that I was building this life, working for it with all my might.
But it’s just the first step. A serious first step in a new direction and I’m glad to be on this path. I think it’ll be time for new business cards soon…