All change – I’m a writer!
“I’m a writer.”
Not a corporate steward who writes in her spare time, not a dilettante dabbling with words, not an empty-nester who needs to express in an amateur way … No, it’s time to put away those phrases that belittle my craft, indeed my mastery of that craft.
Yes, I am a writer. Plainly… Simply… Boldly… Paralyzingly… A writer!
I have no idea why the idea – no the reality – of this affirmation should frighten me so. Or perhaps I do…
There’s all that stuff lurking in the trash-heap of my sub-conscious:
There’s the memory of my mother digging around my little scraps of paper and wondering why I was going crazy. Or her mutterings that men didn’t like clever women. Or my daughter and husband telling me to be careful what I wrote. “Just in case, the authorities, you know…” they would say. There’s a fund of fund manager who asked me, “What’s that got to do with being good at investing?” when he got down to the very bottom of my resume and found out I’d been published.
It’s the sheer lack of congruence between being a writer and my various other known identities.
How do I explain being both a right-brained creative and a left-brained pillar of corporate responsibility? How do I reconcile being a decisive cut-loss-at-the right time quantitative hedge-fund manager and a fidgety poet playing with words?
And how can the sane wife and efficient mother that’s me explain all that sex and infidelity and bad language in her short stories?
“All for the sake of art,” I might say. Or, “Because the characters made me!” That sounds too much like one of the kids excuses about the dog eating the homework doesn’t it?
Of course, I could give a long explanation about how even the flawed are redeemed, and if I don’t show them flawed, then how can I portray redemption. I see the kid asking for his curfew to be rolled back then with that one. Arguing he should be given back those computer gaming hours I just lopped off last week for punishment. If my characters can be redeemed by love, why can’t I give him more slack?
I know, I know, I know … I should stop whinging right?
What’s done is done and I’m a writer whether I like it or not. Indeed, I’ve probably been a writer since before I was even a spark in my parents’ eyes. That isn’t a fate worse than death. Come November, there’ll be a novel coming out, and before that, a collection of short stories.
Time for celebration. Time to get on with the sequel to the novel or the prequel to something new entirely.