Since finding out I was going to be a parent in 2012, much of my energy, quite understandably, has been to feeling out my identity as a mother as well as a life partner (and as of October 18, 2014, a wife). Adding these layers to my life meant that the strongest part of my former identity — WRITER — had necessarily been sent to the backburner.
I’ve continued trucking along, little by little, and I’ve certainly been writing plenty of words per year thanks to my freelance copywriting business. But that’s not the kind of WRITER I want to mean when I say, “I am a writer.”
So this year, I’m giving this whole “I am a writer” gig one more full-speed-ahead shot. If I want to identify as a writer, I need to — plain and simple — write. I need to write fiction. I need to write the stories that capture my imagination in the quiet moments, even if they’re few and far between. I need to write every single day, even if it’s just jotting down a few sentences for a treatment. The stories need to be on my mind every day.
I won’t ever have the single-minded focus I did when I first started pursuing this dream, and yet I wouldn’t trade my current life for anything in the world. It’s a gift in and of itself to call myself mother to my two children and wife to my husband, but beyond that, it gives me a deeper set of emotions (for better or for worse) and a broader perspective on what it means to be human. And making sense of the human experience, as much as we can, has always been the reason for the existence of stories.
So that’s my #onelittleword for 2016. Identity. This year, I am a wife, I am a mother, and once again, I am a WRITER. I am a writer who writes. I am a writer who makes time to put ass in chair and words on paper. I am a writer who adores my children and my husband and still understands that I am meant to write stories. I don’t know what comes after this year, but I do know this: 2016 is the year I love and live and write.