Post #3163: Am I a writer now?

I haven’t touched down here in a couple of weeks because I’ve been head down working on the essay for the monthly mailing and it’s been an intense go. I’m writing about a friend who passed away three years ago, and if you want to know more about that, you can read it on Friday

Talking about the piece this morning, my friend Jill, whose edits and support have been instrumental in my recent writing process says to me “I do hope you identify as a writer because you certainly are one.”

And that’s a funny thing, because just this month I set up a new personal website and got moo cards made which say: Writer. Maker. Musician. which is a departure from my old tag line: Communicator, nature-lover, maker, and musician. While the switch from Communicator to Writer may seem tiny, to me it was monumental.

The term writer is fraught with questions for me; Am I good enough? Don’t I have to be published? Who am I to call myself a writer? You know the drill. I’ve feared claiming the title, as sounding too pretentious or even fraudulent. And yet I’ve written continuously, throughout my life. I’m paid to write professionally. I have worked poetry, fiction, and essays as a craft over long periods of time. This aversion to using writer as a self-descriptor is bordering on the ridiculous.

At the start of 2019 I set out some intentions: to make time for writing, to publish a monthly mailing with the writing, and to improve my blog and personal website presence in support of my creative work. Coming up on June, and reviewing my progress, it’s clear to me that I’ve been putting the effort in and as hard a slog as writing is, it’s the thing I am most gratified by when I get it right. Sure, I love to weave a good blanket! But writing is the work of my soul expressed, which is why it’s so central to my well-being.

I recently discovered a folder called “for submission” in my google drive which has a number of poems in it that I intended to send out for consideration about 8 years ago. I read a couple of them, expecting to cringe, but instead was pleasantly surprised to discover that with a bit of editing they really are submittable. I don’t know if I’ll do anything with those, but I have started thinking again about getting published. I’ve never made a serious run at it before, and I would have to decide what I wanted to devote that kind of time to, but at the moment it’s a thought I’m having (and that my friend Jill has encouraged me about this morning).

We’ll see. For the time being I’m pleased that I’ve finally settled on Writer. Even if it feels a bit uncomfortable to do so.

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