Calling yourself a writer when you’ve been something very different your entire life is an interesting thing. My entire life I’ve been a creative, an artist, a designer, a director, a curator of apparel brands. It’s crazy how so much of your identity becomes intertwined with your job, a title that is supposed to represent you, when you are committing a part of your heart and creativity on the reg.
The day I started calling myself a writer was the day a friend of mine came to my house and saw a copy of my book on my couch, I was in the middle of editing via hard copy.
“What is this?” She said, as she picked up my book staring at my photo that was looking back up at her.
“Is this your book?! So you’re like a writer?”
“Yeah, I’m a writer.” I declared.
I have always been one to push my friends to live their best lives, do all of the things within many different facets that they want to achieve. If you paint every single day, even if no one knows about it you’re a painter, are you not? For some reason the idea I could be something else seemed so odd to me, but here I was, a writer.
Editing my book has been an interesting process, pushing yourself to make something better, to make your story, grammar, and connectivity better with no end in site, and no one to measure your success but you. It’s very isolating in many ways. I’m sure at some point I will have to get a real editor who will rip half of my grammar apart, and ask me why I have such a grand usage of descriptive verbs, but until then I am my own critique, attempting to find holes in the stories that I lived.
I passed my book off to 4 different test readers a few weeks ago so I could gain real insight to immediate emotion and response. Knowing that 4 humans have such a direct wire to my entire life, and words that I wrote without the original intention of sharing with anyone was somewhat terrifying, but I’ve learned to fearlessly walk in the direction of being open with my story.
The flip side of all of this is who cares? Why share my story? Will anyone read? I have a true belief that the courage of some can inspire courage in many, and lead to more stories being shared, more insights to people’s experiences and pain. Everyone has a need for a little inspiration. My life has been a series of unexpected, diverse, challenging events: raising my sister, being adopted at age 6 by a single father of another race, dealing with a mother of mental illness, creating a name and career for myself with no financial or emotional support, being on my own at a young age. For now, I walk blind into this new world of writing that I have willingly entered, finding commonalities between my own experiences, my readers, my Instagram followers, and putting them on paper.
What’s next? Well, working on telling you all my story in the best way I can. Finding an agent. Learning to be completely comfortable calling myself a writer.
It will all be OK, Oni~