Member Stories: Robbie White

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Now a published author and strong influence in local politics, Robbie White started her career as an inner city elementary school teacher almost three decades ago before taking a break from work to raise her three kids. Even through raising her children, she never stopped developing and learning. She went back to school for English and creative writing when her kids were young and she's always maintained a passion for writing.

She pursued writing more seriously in recent years and in 2016 she won a short story contest with the Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. That was just the confidence boost she needed to pursue writing more seriously. The next year she pitched her short story collection to a publisher and they published it in September. Here's a little more about her. 

When did you start writing? 

I was always writing but five years ago I started taking some online classes and joined Oklahoma City Writers, Inc. That started moving me in a direction of being more serious.

What else do you spend time on besides writing?

My family for sure and politics lately. After 2016 I just got really fired up and started working for candidates having fundraisers. A friend and I started a PAC to support Drew Edmondson. It was all-consuming for eight months and I learned so much. I learned that no matter how old you are you can learn to do something brand new for the first time. It was really fun to find my voice in a new way. I turned 50 last year and was reminded that if you show up and you do the work, you can do anything.

Has anything surprised you about turning 50 and looking back at your life?

I never would have thought I'd stay home with my kids for 25 years. I never knew anything who stayed home with their kids. Seriously, I never knew a stay-at-home mom. Everyone I grew up with was a latchkey kid. So that certainly surprised me.

But how exciting that even after committing 25 years to raising kids now I've published a book, started a PAC, been a major fundraiser for local politics. I never thought 50 would be so cool but I feel breathless just saying that because now my kids are 25, 22 and 18. I have about five minutes to do this before they get married and have kids and I have a whole new role. 

What are your favorite books and/or podcasts right now?

I love "Grace, Not Perfection" by Emily Ley and I wish I had her voice in my head when I was younger. "Becoming" by Michelle Obama is the best one I've read in a long time. I weave in a lot of Diana Gabaldon and Nora Roberts and I love listening to "Hidden Brain" on NPR. 

What do you do when you don't feel inspired?

I feel creative in a lot of ways outside writing. If I don't feel like writing it's helpful to be creative with something else like cooking. But even if I don't feel like it, I write something every day. Even if it's just a page. 

Who are people you need to be around to be your best self?

My women friends. I'm super introverted but in the past few years I've really nurtured my friendships with other women. For years, it was all about my husband and friends. Now I get to pick my own people and I've found some real friends. 

What does The Treasury mean to you?

We're in the process of downsizing our home. For 16 years I've had a writing studio in our house but that's changing now. My husband and I will now share a study and that's great. But it's so exciting to have found my own space. A lot of my boards and committees have met around my dining room but now that we're downsizing it's important to have a new place for that. Also, being a member says to me I have a real thing going. I'm not just a hobbyist with writing or politics. I'm not playing and I'm not going anywhere and I have an office to prove it. 

Hannah Schmitt