Creators create themselves in their creations. You create yourself as father or mother when you create a son or daughter. So too you create yourself as author when you put your pen to paper and share even once what you have written with someone else. The creation happens immediately, though it never feels that way. We spend much of our time waking up to the reality to which we have already given birth. I remember the first time I took my son, Max, to the little play area at an outside mall I frequented. I’d walked by this mall a hundred times and seen the mothers and fathers playing with their children on the slides and jungle gym. The day I lowered my son into the play area I felt like a fraud, a boy imitating fatherhood. It was such a strong feeling I thought I might be asked to leave. But my son and I belonged in that play area simply by the fact of our relationship. By the time Max was toddling off to preschool I’d settled into the reality I’d been living for three years.
I know this feeling of fraudulence is common at writer’s conferences. All those men and women shuffling from seminar to seminar carrying their pitches in their heads and wondering if they’ll be granted the mantle of author by some publishing professional. Even Andre Dubus told me he published two books before he began to call himself a writer. Who are we to call ourselves what we wish to be?
Writing teaches humility, and so an experienced writer will know not to strut around wearing his author’s crown. You can’t wear that crown on your head anyway. Whether you have published or not, you have already felt your authorship. You may not want to name it, but you felt it all the same because you have summoned it and it has come to life within you. The only question is how long it will take you to catch up to the reality you are at this moment already living.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.