Last week was a momentous one. My first real book was released. That, in and of itself, was momentous. Also last week, I voluntarily said the words, “I’m a writer,” out loud to another human. That was a pretty momentous thing, too. Throughout my life, I’ve always written, but I never really considered myself a writer. I don’t consider those two things to be necessarily inclusive of one another. Obviously, writers write, but not everyone who writes is eligible for the moniker of “writer,” and while there’s no official list of criteria for what makes “one who writes” a “writer,” there is definitely more to it than just stringing words together on a page or on a computer screen.
Before last week, my shoddy attempts at being a writer only existed in dusty, unreadable, floppy discs, in handwritten journals, in cryptic iPhone notes, and in the margins of other people’s books. I would write down thoughts that seemed interesting or important, or I’d scribble down the annoying things that got stuck in my head in a desperate effort to make the thought loops go away. Most of the time though, I was trying to capture a fleeting moment of intellectual brilliance so I wouldn’t forget it. I can always tell when I was impressed by my own brilliance. When my words resurface weeks, months, or years later, they’re usually cryptic, barely legible, nonsense. They’re even worse if I tried using the talk to text function on my phone.
Here’s an example: “Word interesting if the world were living in right now someone just being frank is a relief.”
That’s a real quote from an actual dictation note in my phone. It’s not even the worst one. The innate brilliance of it is nearly palpable. Try not to be too overwhelmed by it. Nevertheless, after last week, I feel like I can justifiably dub myself a “writer.” At least now, there is some real evidence available to back up the claim.
Keeping on with the momentous events of last week, I had my first professional headshots taken in almost a decade. That was a shocker. Generally speaking, I prefer making photographs over sitting for them, but my photographer was fantastic and made me look better than I do in real life. Still, it’s hard to look at myself. I look too old to be called young and too young to be called old. I don’t really recognize myself anymore. Of course, I know it’s me. I’m just older, heavier, and slouchier. Most of all, though, I look happier than I have looked in years, which is nice but weird. It seems like all of those descriptors might not really go together, but for me, right now, they do. I’m happy and relaxed enough slouch a little too much and eat a lot too much. Aside from the stress of a newly published book and all of the pressures that come along with it, my life is really good. I am really enjoying this phase of my life, and I plan to make the most of it.
And then there’s this week. The first week after the really momentous occasion that was last week is starting out a little calmer. Honestly, it’s going to be hard to top last week for a while. It was the fulfillment of wish I made long ago, and I am very, very excited that I had the chance to do it.