As a part of a 15 day challenge I found on this website http://goinswriter.com/great-writers/. I am officially starting day 1.
Let me start by reflecting on the importance of declarations. To declare something means that you make it public, but you do so in a strong, impervious, confident way. In 1776 a group of men, rebels, got together on a spit of land that was savage and wild and they decided to hell with the rules and regulations they’d been following according to the government they’d known their entire lives. They were tired of maltreatment (ironically since they weren’t exactly treating everyone equally, but that’s another blog post in itself) so the DECLARED their independence. This was a ballsy move. It was treason. Had they lost the war, this declaration with their names so clearly written and penned on this official document, publicized for the world and specifically for their King to see, would have gotten them killed in a horrific many (drawn and quartered…entrails cut out… the whole nine yards!). My point? Declarations are a serious business.
So, when I read that the first step to “15 Habits of Effective Writers” according to this website is “Declare” I do feel some sort of connection between my own experience and this advice.
I’ve been writing my entire life and throughout this time I’ve been praised for my talent and for my creativity. I enjoyed writing and took every chance that was thrown my way to practice the craft. I wrote short stories when I was little. I wrote two hundred pages of a novel when I was in middle school before my floppy disk (yes, a floppy disk) was destroyed by kool-aid and the hard drive burned out in our old computer in the same week–destroyed, but not forgotten. But it was always something I did, it was never who I was.
Oddly, that wasn’t the case with my career. If someone asked me what I do, my immediate response is: I am a teacher. I don’t say “I teach” I say “I am a teacher”. Because I am. I spent a lot of time becoming a teacher and it is a part of who I am inside and out. It is second nature to claim the title. It’s not what I do, it is who I am.
With a little prodding from friends and family this past year I came to realize that writing is no different. It is a part of me, and published or not, I AM A WRITER. I made this declaration several months ago, but I make it again now as a part of this challenge and as a challenge to anyone out there who may be searching for something to declare. Find out who you are. Don’t just do it, but be it and declare it. Own it, because you will start living your life in a completely different way the more you come to understand who you are, not just what you do.