Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote- identity October 30, 2013

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:24 am
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“You’ve always been what you are.  That’s not new.  What you’ll get used to is knowing it.”

(Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel p. 308)

In 2009, my novel Grace Awakening was finished, and I was staring stunned at the proof book, dumbstruck that I had actually done it.  I had written 150,000 words over six months, and created a world that other people were reading and liking.  I reflected this amazement to a friend who’d been reading my work since I was a kid, and he wrote, “You’re a writer.  You’ve always been a writer.”

I stared at those words on the screen for the longest time, trying to absorb them:

I am a writer.

Not a wanna-be writer.  Not a hopeful writer.  Not a someday writer.  I am a writer, and I have *always* been a writer.

It probably took me 3 years to fully accept that identity.  To embrace who I am.  When my friends started introducing me, not as a teacher, but as a “Shawn, the published author,” it was very profound.  It still gives me goosebumps

Then I started paying attention to the comments on my blog posts, and realised that I am also a poet.

I am a poet.

I was a little quicker to accept that idea, since it is so closely related to being a writer.  I have this image of poets as slightly crazy people, who live in weird houses, dress in crazy outfits, and have a lot of cats.  Well, two out of four is enough to face the truth.

I have embraced my creative self, and it is getting weirder and weirder.  The other day I seriously considered buying a wooden caravan style RV (I’ll try to take a photo of this beauty).  My husband would freak out at the very idea.  There probably isn’t enough room for my shoes, but I looked at that caravan, and was ready to hit the road. To become the wandering Bohemian I’ve beaten down my whole life.

Who I am is not new.  My friend was right, I’ve always been a writer.  I’ve been chattering away telling stories since I could talk.  I shared stories I wrote in grade 3 show and tell.  I won my first poetry prize in grade 4.   I’ve always been who I am.

Now that I’m not just accepting it, but I’m embracing it, I feel alive.  I feel like I am fulfilling my destiny.  I feel RIGHT in my world, because I am able to be who I am supposed to be.  I write.  I can not do things because I need to write.  People come to my blog, and tell me how my words make them feel, or think, or…  My words are who I am.

Who are you?

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19 Responses to “quote- identity”

  1. releaf1954 Says:

    I’m still trying to figure out who I am, but I would love to see a picture of that wooden caravan. My husband would not freak out at the idea — he built a little teardrop trailer for us to sleep in when we go camping. This post is my favorite of the ones I’ve read since I started following you. It inspires me to keep trying to find my place in this world. I’m still breathing; there’s still time.

  2. Sheila Says:

    I really love your last sentence – that’s a great way to think about it. I’m the opposite – I’ve always been a writer so that was easy to accept but I can’t think of myself as any kind of a poet for some reason even though poetry is a fun way to experiment with words. Yes, very weird. 🙂

  3. Writing is a passion – not something desirable or cute. If you have to write, the rest fades into the void normal people call ‘life’. Isn’t that sad?

  4. davidprosser Says:

    I’ve always been a teller of stories or maybe an exaggerator of life but I never thought of myself as a writer until two years ago when I published the first book for Ju to read.Now I realise I wrote as a child and then just verbalised until two years ago. I’m a writer! It doesn’t define me though since I was loopy long before putting pen to paper this time round. Ha, I’ve not taken up poetry though so I can at least claim not to be Bohemian like you. Keep up the entertainment Shawn.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  5. Miranda Jane Says:

    Lovely post. I’ve learned that by letting go of expectations and by embracing the helter-skelter of life, I get to be myself! “I’m me and I’m okay” mantra. 🙂

  6. It’s one thing when you say about yourself, “I am a writer,” or “I am a poet.” Don’t get me wrong — it’s a very important thing. But the first time someone else introduces you as such, *that’s* a very special moment. Isn’t it funny how we can spend decades walking around in our own skin before we recognize its shape?

  7. cepcarol Says:

    I still have very far to go before I think of myself as a writer. Your last sentence “My words are who I am.”, gives me courage that I’m getting there as whatever I’ve written is who I am. Thanks. Carol

  8. thesewordsiwrite2012 Says:

    I love this post, especially the quote!

  9. […] Shawn L. Bird – Shawn is an admitted eccentric (as opposed to an eccentric who has been admitted). She hails from beautiful Shuswap Lake, BC. Her blog offers images of wildlife, poetry, quotes, and engaging reflections, such as this one on identity. […]


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