I’ve always been a late bloomer. I have swapped my career path more than a few times, so I’m often the newest and the oldest in any role.
And that’s what is happening with this writing gig.
In high school, I was writing a novel. I kept pretty quiet about it because I’m never a fan of Julie-come-latelys who proclaim they are and so, they are. “I’m in a band” (I play a keyboard in my garage). “I am an artist” (I painted my dresser). “I’m a writer” (I’m penning something horrible with no training, no vocabulary, no inherent love of reading).
I know this makes me a snob. An artist is a writer is a musician is just doing it. I think it’s not snobbery as much as jealousy and passion. How can anyone wake up and proclaim they’re an artist? It takes work, pain, struggle. Rejection and more rejection. But these blissful few just embrace that they’re doing something and move ahead from there.
I envy their bravado.
My husband is an artist. He’s a craftsman with a vision. He can mentally engineer angles and shapes and textures and then he makes them real in the most amazing ways. Unlike me, he doesn’t just consider a single trip to the hardware store to buy fresh cut lumber, pristine stains and new brushes. He reclaims wood, reshapes old furniture. He scavenges, he hunts for the last drop of varnish from a jar from his last project. Sometimes it seems so hard to me, but what’s hard for me is what he does so well: continuing.
He hasn’t finished every project yet, but he translates from the vision in his head to the product in his workshop. He thinks only of solutions all day long and applies them when he comes home. He leaves work behind, he immerses himself in his craft.
He doesn’t call himself an artist. He should.
I call myself a writer, but can’t pull all that’s in my head embrace the effort to put it on the page. Always I was told to own the title. You write, ergo, you’re a writer. I’m published. I’ve earned forums for my art. I’ve been coached by the best. Only then did I decide to say I am a writer first, before all else. But I’m late to the party and missed the memo about once you use the name, you must do the work.
I see stories everywhere, I spin words in my mind, I read voraciously.
What I can’t do is sit. Pen to paper. Finger to keyboard. I’ll just read some more. I’ll just watch another perfectly scripted dialog on television. I’ll just listen to more music and embrace the poetry of well-written lyrics.
I’m my own worst enemy. My writing is stalled for my need to study it.
Every day at work, my ideas flow quickly but are cut off to first plan for them, gain approvals, create a spreadsheet. The process of my day job is stressing me out, writing needs to be the work I own and love. I need its nourishment.
As someone who has straddled the creative realm of my industry and found more safety and confidence in the execution, it’s time to realize that the creative side is stronger in me and brings me more joy. Less house cleaning, fewer spreadsheets, fewer plans. More writing. More joy. Less bringing execution home with me and more finger to keyboard. It’s the portal to happiness, I know it is.
Feminist, activist, outdoor advocate, animal lover, chocolate shake lover, reader, watcher, talker, actor, speaker, worker, writer, urban adventurer, hustler, involved, passionate, excited, ready.