Forgive my long absence from the blog, friends. I’ve been taking a nice break from talking about writing in order to actually do some writing. It was as delicious as it was stressful, as torturous as it was satisfying. Facing a very tight deadline to hand my manuscript into my editor at Skyhorse Publishing, I had no choice but to get down to some serious business.
Working on those edits, pulling eight—yes eight—all-nighters in a row, I wasn’t so sure I could make it through to the other side of yet another no-holds barred revision of a manuscript I’ve been working on for nearly ten years. But I did make it, and in fact I’m really rather proud of the work I did during those endless nights.
I learned something about myself as a writer then: I am a warrior. I am a badass. I am a tiger in a hobbit’s body. I am a fierce protector of social justice and preservation of those few remaining, however Liliputian, vestiges of intelligencia and human kindness that cling to life in the modern world. I am a forager. A scavenger fish. An island. A one-woman show. A Holly Go-Lightly with bigger boobs, more common sense but equally poor history with men. I am a girl who wishes she had paid more attention in Latin class in high school and college. I am the kind of girl who takes Latin classes. I am the kind of girl who writes about the experience of taking Latin. At my very core, I am a writer. I can’t minimize or deny that part of my identity any longer, no matter how tough it gets, how much doubt I have, or where the process takes me.
I talk and write a lot about my writing, complain about not having time to actually write. But no longer do I feel this way, because I’ve been doing the work of a writer. I used to talk about never believing that I am a good writer, a real writer, a successful writer. While I’ll still likely never believe I’m a good writer, I like to think that such an indefinite uncertainty will keep me honest and force me to always challenge myself as an artist. But as of today, this week, this month, this year, I don’t doubt anymore that I’m a real writer. I know I am. I’ve earned my stripes.
It no longer matters what kind of success I achieve, who stands behind me, or how many years will stretch out before me in this life—one things holds firm and fast: I have been made real by putting in the hours, the training, the passion it takes to be a writer. And there’s no stopping me now.