Sometimes I ask myself a really tricky question, which goes like this: Who am I to ____? Fill in the blank with just about whatever you like.
Who am I to have a blog? Who am I to host a podcast? Who am I to ask for crowdfunding support? Who am I to start a business? Who am I to make a video?
[Fair warning, my keyboard has several sticky buttons including the period, so please excuse any missing ‘.’ ‘d’ or ‘k’]
Well basically that could just go on and on. It’s something I struggle with repeatedly. And I guess in those moments, I find some comfort in the label I’ve given myself: “Writer.”
Just yesterday Zsolt said something to me that has gotten me thinking. He revealed he’s been considering this for some time. . . trying to understand what I do, or what I am? And not too long ago, he finally found the answer
“You are not a writer,” he tells me.
And that’s confusing. Because if I’m not a writer, then how did I write this blog these past four years, or those articles, or those posts across the internet, or my beloved novel Claire Never Ending?
“What do you mean I’m not a writer?”
Calling myself a writer has been really good for me. It’s given me courage to answer that question: “Who am I to?” with the answer of “I’m a writer, damn it!”
“You’re not a writer,” Zsolt says to me again. And then he explains how when people ask him, when is her next book coming out – and he sees I’m not actually working on a next book — he’s never sure what to say.
(This actually gives me very clear flashbacks to family gatherings around various holidays when people ask: So what are you doing? And for years upon years I’d reply, “Ahhh. Punch bowl.” Then disappear to get another drink.
So you see, when I found the title of writer and tried it on, it became a ‘job’ description that I really quite enjoy. It fits me well. I don’t make any money from it – or rather, the money I make from writing stems from clients ideas, or website design, or social management, all very nice, too. But when I say I’m a writer, I’m not actually thinking of my work. I’m thinking of the blog posts, guest posts, articles, chapters, challenges, stories . . .
Anyhow, all that to say, the label gives me courage and congruency at those awkward family gatherings.
So, the big Z really threw me with his conclusion that I’m not a writer.
“Why am I not a writer?” I ask him.
“You’re a creator,” he replies. “You are a media person, and content maker, a person who has to make things”
Hmm. I actually rather like that. I’m a writer, for sure, and don’t you forget it, but I’m also . . . a creator. I create things. Sometimes it’s art. Sometimes it’s a t-shirt. Other times it’s a video. And this is all okay, I guess, because I have a label to give me courage: I’m a creator and I like to tell stories. I guess I’m a creative multi-media storyteller. It’s not going to go on my business card, but I think perhaps at my core & behind it all, I really am this.
I’m also a business woman, entrepreneur, endurance lifer, wife, traveller, house keepr, company manager, book shelver, co-host, WRITER, advocate, community lover, storyteller, doodler, learner . . . with all these hats, it’s no wonder my love is feeling confused as to what exactly I do.
But like I say, that’s not something to put on a resume. And definitely not something to tell the customs agent when they ask what I do for a living.
However, he has gotten me thinking. And so maybe next time I’m feeling uncertain, I can reference his broad and generous conclusion. Who am I to _____? I’m Catherine Brunelle, damn it!
And that is all I have to say about that.