I was sitting in the market on the weekend working on a story that wasn’t coming easily. I know it has potential so I was keeping at it. Normally, if a short story feels difficult, I know it’s not ready yet and I put it aside for a bit. But this one I can tell I just need to use some brute force.
And then it suddenly occurred to me, as I was sitting there at my favourite cafe, drinking my favourite beer, putting one stubborn word after another – I’m a writer. I’m an actual gods damn writer.
I have won awards and been published. I’ve made both shortlists and long lists. I have goals and plans and I am working every day towards achieving those.
Yes indeedily. I’m a writer and no mistake.
It was a nice realisation.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been listing ‘writer’ as my occupation on entry cards at airports. It seemed easier than all the various roles I’ve had over the years – project manager, volunteer program coordinator, administrative officer, Boolean search analyst, business analyst. Sometimes the customs officer would ask me what I wrote.
“Oh, anything,” I would say.
I could more accurately have said “nothing”.
But this past few years I’ve really worked hard on my writing and I’m starting to see the pay off for that work.
I am right now, above everything else, more than an expat or a freelancer or any of my other identities, I am right now a writer.