“You Are a Writer (So Start ACTING Like One)”

When I sat down to write this post, my first since last November, I experienced a discernible visceral sense of rightness, of standing on terra firma. Finally. Again.

Since last October, I have been ensconced within liminal space, the painful, terrifying, confusing, darkened hallway (that often resembles a labyrinth) between the ending of one chapter of life and the beginning of the next. My empty nest hit me harder than I had anticipated; no longer knowing who I was anymore, I plummeted through the floorboards. Finally, this past month, miniscule shafts of light began seeping through the cracks, giving me a glimpse of myself apart from my role as Mom. But a couple of days ago, a full ray of light streamed in, stunning me with its brilliance, clarity, and simplicity.

I was searching in my Kindle for Jeff Goins’s The In-Between: Embracing the Tension between Now and the Next Big Thing. When it popped up, I saw farther down the page three more titles, also by Jeff Goins. The last one hit so hard it made my head swim: You Are a Writer (So Start ACTING Like One). I actually felt a jolt course throughout my body, a definite cosmic kick in the pants.

“I am a writer,” I said out loud to myself, almost in wonder. How did I forget that? When did I forget that? I have been a writer ever since I learned how to write in the first grade. (See post titled, “Why I Do What I Do.”) Editing comes naturally to me, and I enjoy it, but I feel most like my true self when I’m writing. In fact, I became an editor because I deeply identify and empathize with writers and the writing life and want to support both. (See post titled, “The Encouraging Editor.”)

These past ten months have been the long, arduous reconnection with this vital part of who I am that got buried beneath parenting and the practicalities and demands of life. When I was a child, there were two things I knew I was destined for: motherhood and writing. I’ve still not entirely emerged from the in-between place; I’m still grieving the fact that my babies are no longer babies, and I terribly miss them and who I knew myself to be in relation to them and in their lives. But I am making headway. I have new babies to birth and nurture: those on the page. And what better way to start than to write a post about writing to you, my beloved fellow writers?

My story is not unique. Life tends to upend and sidetrack us all. You, too, are a writer. So if you’re not currently acting like one, ask yourself, “What is standing in my way?”

You may just find yourself.