Searching for An Identity

write an ebook

There are certain things people say that get to me.  Maybe I’m being over-sensitive, but the words bother me just the same.

“She wants to be a writer.” a certain family member chatting with a fellow stranger while I’m standing there.

What?  I don’t want to be….I am a writer.

“It’s just a poem, or a short story.”

It’s not just…the poem happens to be my heart and soul as the characters that live within the story.

While I was working, my husband would try to discourage me from spending too much time writing when things needed to be done around the house.  I’d tell him that I needed to write.  He would come back with a question: “Are you making money with your writing?”  My answer, unfortunately, would always be- “No.”

Argument’s lost.

Now, I’m home, no longer in the work force because of my progressive disability, and can spend more time writing.  When I proudly announced to my husband last night that a few of my writings will be published later this year, he asked if I will be paid for them.  Once again I said, no.  Do I consider writing a career?  Again, no.  Then, a hobby? No, no…my writing is so much more than just a hobby.

He gave me this look of pure puzzlement.  Then, what is writing to me?

I had no real answer for him other than my writings were my “passion projects.”

Somehow, that didn’t feel right to me.

What is writing to me?

As before, I’m faced with this identity crisis since I left the work force last year.  Am I truly a writer?  Or, just someone who enjoys writing?

I’m a woman with a progressive disability who can no longer hold a substantial job, who no longer could pursue a career.  Yes, I am also a wife and a mother.  But, why do I still feel like I’m missing out on something , and that writing is somehow a key?

No, I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive about these things.  I’m just in search of something, and it’s frustrating me to no end.





4 thoughts on “Searching for An Identity

  1. Hi Carrie,

    Yes, I’ve been there. I still occasionally lapse into the mindset that my writing isn’t important because it doesn’t contribute to the the income, or in any way support the material reality of my life. If I’d relied on it for a living – as another writer friend of mine says – I should have starved to death a long time ago. It’s hard for non-writers to understand the compulsion we feel, that everything else we do is done in order to make space so we can finally do the one thing we were made to do, and that’s write.

    And you’re right, the short story and the poem are not to be sniffed at. The short story is the most difficult of things to pull off, to say something meaningful in so few words. It is a dying artform. And the poem, the most sublime form of written expression, yet impossible to make a living at. Money seems not to be the thing any more.

    You have one of your writings lined up for publication? Well done indeed! Take that as a confirmation of your skill, and regardless of if it’s paid or not, take confidence in it, confidence in your own ability.

    Are you a writer? A writer is a person who writes.

    That’s you.

    It’s hard to advise, me being a mostly unpublished writer myself, but I think I wrote somewhere, maybe on my blog, that the person who benefits most from our writing, the person most healed by it is always going to be ourselves. All art forms are a vehicle for self exploration first. I’ve learned a lot about myself through my writing. I’m sure you have too, and will continue to do so.

    Keep well,



  2. I can tell you are a great writer by the way you describe other people saying you are not a writer. It’s always fun to be around people who diminish your dreams. I am anonymous on my page and only 2 or 3 people know that I write. None of those people know what I write about either. I prefer to keep it private. I find it easier to write and work on my project in secrecy. I know I will have to put it out one day and I will prepare myself for whatever happens then. For now, I can hide the world I am inventing. I wish you good health and happy writing.

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