There are some nights I despair about ever becoming a ‘real’ writer. Why these morose musing always wait until the dim hours after midnight, I have no idea. Perhaps it’s because I fade out from reality when I get sleepy, like a drunk who is convinced the pink elephants are always there, he just can’t always see them. Which is a rather silly analogy, I will admit, equating my Muses to dancing pink elephants in tutus. Oh Disney, you have corrupted my imagination so very very well.
It’s odd that musings about being ‘real’ come at a time when everything feels one step further away, less immediate, less encompassing. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, I know what I’m not, but I’m not quite sure how to get to where I want to be. Like Pinocchio, like Data, and so very far from Don Quixote who believed with all his heart in the should-have-beens.
When I was eight or nine, I knew I was a ‘real’ author, after all hadn’t I written stories? Drawn books? Spun up worlds from nothing? What more is there, really, than capturing on paper what dances through our daydreams?
But that’s a self-determined prize, a title worthless beyond the confines of my own imagination. When they asked, I could tell them I was a writer, a poet, a tale spinning fool with a pocket of dreams… and they’d nod and smile, and dismiss me in that frustrating adult fashion.
And that stuck with me, the thought that other people get to tell me what I am. That I must have someone else to sing out my inner truths, to say to the world ‘Yes! Yes she is a writer! And a poet! And many other things besides.’ All this so they will listen. They will take the word of someone who isn’t me, because they titles have more weight, more bearing, more heft when the names roll from someone else’ lips.
Well phooey on this!
I am a writer, unpublished and unpolished at times.
I am a poet, though of a minor sort.
I am all the things I always thought I was, and someday, if I keep trying, someone else will say it too.
And then maybe the nameless They will listen…