I’m not sure how many times I wrote, “I want to be a writer,” within the folds of my journals over the 20 years I’ve been writing, but I am sure of the moment, after writing that very sentence, that I stopped and thought, “Holy shit! I am a writer!”
This epiphany happened over eggs at Anodyne coffee shop in Minneapolis, a place I have logged about 100 hours writing. It was in that moment that I realized that if we are what we do, then I am a writer.
“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they paint a lot.” -Macklemore
Not because at eight years old I declared to my parents that I was going to someday write books, but because this is what I do. I write when I am inspired and I write when I am afraid. I write when I am pissed off and when I am in a state of grace. I write at the DMV and I write at parks while my kids play. I wake up in the morning, and if I’m the first one up, I write. I write after the kids have gone to bed. I write on airplanes and in bathrooms (seriously). I write on the floor and at desks. I write my dreams and then I write action plans. I write in journals to my children and to my husband. I write because I love to string together words and pin down a thought that resonates with my soul.
In that moment in Anodyne, I realized that if I never get a word of my writing published, I am still a writer. And that realization alone lifted 10,000 pounds of self-doubt right off my desk.
Because we are what we do. I write. Therefore, I am.