Claiming my Identity
The Storytelling Ape first found me when I wrote about this adventure.
I was honored when the Story Reading Ape asked me to write something about myself for the “New (to me) Authors” Blog.
Then I got nervous. Why? Because, while I have had several non-fiction articles published in various journals, and a poem or two here and there, I’m just now claiming the title of published author as my short story “Voices” joins 14 others in Theme-Thology: Invasion due out on September 28, 2013 and published by HDWP Books.
On sale: September 28th, 2013 $2.99 Kindle/Nook/Kobo
I was nervous because, despite the fact that I have hundreds of blog posts under my belt, two finished fiction novels yearning for homes (I am actively sending one out to agents at the moment) and a dissertation gathering dust on my shelves, I still struggle sometimes to say the magical words “I am a writer.”
Ridiculous, isn’t it? I write every day, in various forms. Sometimes it’s merely numerous responses to my students or preparing material to share with my classes. (I guess I should mention that I teach theatre in various universities throughout New England as an adjunct faculty member, and sometimes work in after school programs with children.) Sometimes, depending on what I’m teaching, I even write short plays for my group to perform, although usually I try to get them to write first.
Sometimes I write Morning Pages or journal entries (although I admit, I have been lax on the Morning Page front). Sometimes I write passionate rants advocating for the importance and value of the arts in society and especially in education. Sometimes I write comments on other people’s blogs or on petitions surrounding issues that I value. I write character sketches and ideas for stories on scraps of paper that I will uncover months later. I try to write blog posts at least three times a week, although sometimes I write more and sometimes I write fewer. You can find them on my website Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words.
With all those words pouring out of me, why do I still struggle with the phrase “I am a writer”? I think it comes down to the perception of others. While I know, deep in my soul, that I am a writer, how can I possibly claim that without proof? For me somehow I’ve equated proof with a sales record.
However, as I write these words I’ve come to an important realization. I AM A WRITER! Sure, I would love for you to buy the upcoming anthology and to get some positive reviews. Sure I would love to sell my current manuscript and find a following of readers. But even if those things never happen, I am still a writer. As long as I have a few readers, I am a writer. As long as one of my daughter’s good friends is reading my manuscript and says “It’s a gripping and exciting story,” I am a writer. (Click here for information about the manuscript, “The Power of Words” ). As long as someone, like the Story Reading Ape, occasionally asks me to write a guest post, or put something down on paper, I AM A WRITER!
One thing I love about this new world of writing, or finally claiming my identity as a writer, are all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. I’ve formed fabulous friendships (both online and in person) with talented and interesting people all around the world. That in itself is proof, I believe, that writing plays an important role in my life—but also that it serves a greater purpose. Because, after all, written words are simply one of a myriad ways of making connections with other people, and that’s really what it’s all about.
Why do you write or create art of any form? Do you ever find it hard to claim “I’m a _______.”?