Writer's Studio grad now says, 'I am a writer'
By Amy Robertson
Claire De Boer has wanted to be a writer since she was a little girl. It took The Writer’s Studio to make her realize she already was.
As a child, she began penning stories her teachers loved. “I realized when I was at school that it was the thing I loved to do and was best at,” she says.
As she got older, the dream went on the back burner. In university, she studied languages, marketing, and, later, journalism. With her head buried in textbooks, she couldn't imagine wanting to write stories for fun in her spare time.
Still, as she built her career in marketing, journalism, and public relations, she dreamed of something more—something that would truly make her a writer.
She found out about The Writer’s Studio in her 30s, and it sounded like a wonderful fit—she loved the idea of being part of a community of writers, and of being mentored by a published author. But again, life got in the way, and she decided to wait.
It was several years before she found the drive to go after her dream. “I just said, ‘Enough! This is my dream; this is what I want to do. I’m just going to go for it,’” she says.
De Boer attended an information session for The Writer’s Studio and thought, “This is home. This is where I want to be, and this is who I am.”
With support from her family, in 2011, De Boer made the commute from Surrey to Vancouver for courses and mentor workshops a few times each week. She admits that sometimes it was difficult—but worth every penny.
“I was living my dream. It was the best educational experience of my life,” she says.
“I reached the point in the program where I could really say, ‘I am a writer.' Before, I thought I had to be officially published to say that, but really, just the simple act of writing makes me a writer.”
After 15 years of writing for PR and marketing, she truly was a writer—and still is. Today, De Boer blogs, is working on a novel, operates a freelance writing business, and writes and edits for an online magazine.
She also mentors others like herself in SFU’s Southbank Writers’ Program, teaching them that they, too, should say, “I am a writer.”