“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?