Today, I took a deep breath and officially self-identified as a writer. It took a while. I’ve written four books, dozens of papers, a whole bunch of articles, and other pieces. And I’ve even had “writer” on my social media profile for the last couple of years. But I’ve always felt like I was wearing an ill-fitting sweater. It was tight around the neck and made me uncomfortable.
This morning I checked amazon for the ratings of the Today’s Tarot ebook I released the day before yesterday. For some reason, seeing the rating sit in the low two-hundreds crystalized something in me.
For the first time, I thought, “Well, hey, you’re a writer,” and smiled. I didn’t have the urge to shuffle my feet or look down or deny it. I just smiled.
I’m a writer. Who would have thought?
I was an English major in college, and I’ve done more literary criticism than I can shake a stick at. But, I never took a creative writing course. I shied away from them. Perhaps it was a fear that I wouldn’t be articulate. Perhaps, it was a fear that my innermost thoughts would be deemed pedantic or boring or just plain dumb. But, I never thought to write creatively, although I had plenty of ideas. I wrote one story when I was twelve years old. I wrote one Spenserian stanza (that was supposed to fit seamlessly into the Faerie Queen) for a college English class. And that was the extent of my creative writing for the whole of my life.
And yet, now I’ve released four books with many more in the pipeline. Once I opened these particular floodgates of my creativity, I’ve had no end of those. I’m excited to write books three, four, and five of the Fairy Godmother Diaries (and I know exactly what will happen so that’s even better). I’m psyched to write Ishtar’s Temple. Perhaps, I will even finish the first book of the Arbiter series. Who knows? The possibilities are limitless.
But here’s the thing that makes me curious. What did it take for that paradigm shift to happen? What did my insides need to see or sense that made me nod once and say, “Yes. I’m a writer.” I think we all struggle with those doubts about who we are and what we are made of. Sometimes, that change happens and takes us unawares. We start living as if we are that person without even realizing it. And it is only after time has passed that we look back and see the change. Other times, like this morning for me, it’s a coalescing of thoughts, perspectives, and circumstances. It stares you in the face and dares you to contradict it. I can deny it no longer. I am a writer.
No matter how terrifying that is, I have to admit it to all of you and more importantly to myself.
So, here’s my question to you. Do you have a creative self-identifier you’re hiding from? What is it? And how can we bring it out of the darkness and into the light? How can we make friends with that innermost part of ourselves that yearns for self-expression in whatever form it takes?
I will be writing much more about this in the coming weeks, because I think creative solutions to everything is what it will take for us to not only thrive but also survive.
I send you my love.