Anyone who knows me can tell you that I've been on a long-term journey of acceptance and ripening into my fullest self. Creatively, I think I began this journey when I chose to pursue a degree in fine art instead of graphic design. Allowing myself to make fanart — creating the first TARDIS piece — was another essential step in that journey. My art has reached a place where I very often have a finished piece that looks like what was in my head (or even better). People have paid money to hang it in their homes. I have validated the visual aspect of my creative ability and it feels good. But truth be told, something was lacking.
Storytelling and artmaking have been an integral part of my imaginative and creative life since childhood. But despite having English teachers who wanted me to grow up and become a writer, being part of my school's literary magazine, having a filing cabinet full of unfinished stories and hundreds of poems, and even pursuing an English degree for a semester — I would not call myself a writer. Yet somehow, I kept making friends with them until I knew a large number of published authors. I even dated one. But I still wouldn't call myself a writer, or even tell any of my friends that I was one.
And then I met one very perceptive woman who stopped me in the hallway at a writer's convention and asked myself why I didn't call myself a writer. I demured with some half baked excuse about not being published, and she told me with power and authority that I was still a writer. Her words have haunted me ever since.
And so last year at some point I became obsessed with a story that wouldn't let me go. Unlike the thousand others — which I have successfully shoved into the mental closets over the years with a quiet whisper about how writing is not my thing and to go find a writer to tell their tales to — this one was mine and demanded that I tell it. I was obsessed with finishing it in a way I've never felt about anything before. So I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote until it was finished, crying and laughing the whole way through.
Over the course of a year, my story grew and changed (and went through at least seven edits). And then at some point, synchronicity (and one of those author friends) kept calling me out. So I put on my superhero underoos and submitted my manuscript. And signed the contract. On 2020.02.02, I will be a published author. Which feels freaking amazing.
Allowing myself to accomplish goals and dreams (especially those that others belittled me over) makes me feel, well, like a superhero. It's the most healing form of magic I know. So today, I'm calling myself a writer. And beyond that, a creative taking no way as my way, with no limitations as my limit.
And on that note, dear reader, here is my heartfelt advice to you:
You know that thing you've been secretly wanting to do since forever but keep talking yourself out of? The only thing stopping you from being successful at it is... YOU. What level of mediocrity will you settle for? That quiet whisper in your heart calling you — answer it. What are you waiting for? Do it!
If you've struggled with imposter syndrome, you're not alone. Comment and let me know what battles you're fighting, and what goals you would like to be cheered on with!