Nov. 10, 2002
There’s a problem in America; you’re supposed to have a career in which you specialise in something and if you don’t, you’re seen as confused.
I, however, don’t want to be just a writer because there are so many other things I want to do. This isn’t a new declaration, in fact, it was just last fall that I started talking about my passion for art. Somewhere, though, my other passions were pushed aside as I focused solely on my writing.
At first, it was what I needed to do. The insecurity I felt of changing from corporate girl to writer girl was so overwhelming that I needed an easy title to grasp hold of. I needed something easy to say when people challenged my job. It was easy to say I was a writer and even easier to defend it – it just made sense.
But my longing to do other things increased and I found that I started to call myself a “creative person.” However, this brought on more challenges from outsiders. They wanted to know what kind of creative person I was, what exactly did I do, and how much money did it make. Answering all those questions became tiresome so I resorted back to just saying, “I’m just a Writer.”
Although saying that made me feel as though I wasn’t being true to myself, in time I got over it and forgot that I was anything but a writer. Even though from time to time I would feel like there was more I wanted to do, I’d ignore it.
Ironically, the way I was feeling was when I was in my office job and I tried to ignore the feeling that I wanted to write. The feeling never went away, it just intensified until it overwhelmed me.
I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by my other creative longings so this fall when I began my break from writing, I began to indulge my other passions such as drawing, painting, sewing, singing, acting, dancing and writing stories I don’t normally write.
After awhile of doing this I understand why it felt so uncomfortable to call myself just a writer; I’m not just a writer and I do not specialise in one area of creativity. I dabble in lots of areas because if I don’t, I feel like something’s missing, because really, something is.
People want titles that are easy and understandable – it’s how in America we define ourselves. But what happens when we can’t be so easily defined? Are we to ignore parts of ourselves so that others can understand us better? I don’t think so. I’m tired of pretending to be something just so I look good. The fact is, I’m not just a writer, I’m a lot of things.
I’ve never been one for titles and even though “Writer” is less uncomfortable that “Corporate Executive” it’s still uncomfortable. So now when people ask me what I do I simply say, “I write and create a myriad of things. And I play.”