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WRITE TEAM: My journey as a Write Team member

Phyllis Nordstrom
Phyllis Nordstrom

This is it. Today is the last day and the last column for this season of The Write Team.  And you're reading it!

Looking back, I recall the nervousness I felt when I submitted some sample articles for consideration and then the thrill of being selected to be on The Write Team. It was my first time to write for the general public. Proudly I posted the entire newspaper page announcing the new team on my refrigerator. (Just in case anyone cared to see.)  And when that first column appeared — wow! It, too, went on display. I remember a similar feeling when I showed off my newborn and waited to hear the response.

It's interesting, this relationship one builds with the computer when one sits down to write. You think you have an idea, but when your fingers hit the keys the column takes on a life of its own and a story forms. That's when I let it set for a while before condensing it down to the 500 words.

I took a look back this morning on the variety of subjects I've shared. It all began with me telling you the uncomfortable way I trained my sons on how to treat their future wives. That opened the floodgates as I shared health issues, coming to terms with being elderly, celebrating marriage and navigating unexpected deaths. I even dared show my age remembering my one-room country school education. I suppose the most emotional column for me to write was reliving my bout with breast cancer.

And then there is the relationship a writer has with the readers. I'm met several new friends. Thank you for taking the time to express encouragement.
Writing a biweekly column has definitely giving me a new appreciation for those who must produce articles daily. And I've gained much from my fellow writers. We're chosen from all walks and stages of life. Our styles say a lot about us. I guess mine tends toward storytelling.  I love our differences and the things we have in common. 

And for those who have been on The Write Team for years: Do you ever run out of ideas? I still have a few. Someday I'd like to write about transitioning to a new dog when ours of many years was accidentally killed. And I'd like to write one sharing the surprises in store when one volunteers.  And, oh yes, I'd really like to make a plea for our city to consider luring someone to open a fast food restaurant on Ottawa's South Side (one like Chick-fil-A with a drive through for all the traffic that travels each way on Route 23.)  Oh well, I'll leave that for another day or another person.

The columns no longer get posted to the refrigerator. They've since been taken down and filed away, soon to become just another memory. After the first few, I even quit reminding my kids of when the next one was scheduled to appear. (Unless I needed them to help me critique it, of course.) 

It's been a wonderful, growing, disciplined experience.  Thank you, everyone (especially Stephanie at The Times), and may God bless all of you who will be writing these next six months.  
Congratulations!  You are in for a ride!
  • PHYLLIS NORDSTROM is a longtime resident of Ottawa, although this is her first time on the Write Team. She can be reached by emailing

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