I am a writer.
I write nonfiction and fiction. I think I write poetry, because some of it was published—a long time ago. I think it was not so much for the poetry, but for the connections I had.
I’m a writer. I think about a lot of things in the frame of how I would write about it. Can I write about it? Does anybody care if I write about it? Will they read what I write about it?
I’m a writer. That makes me a people watcher. It doesn’t mean I’m always thinking of how I can put you in a novel, but I might be. My husband calls what I do eavesdropping. Interesting word, don’t you think? Writer’s look things like that up.
The origins of eavesdrop was very literate, the water that falls from the eaves of the house. Later it came to mean the ground where the water fell. You see where this is going, right? Eventually it described that person who stands in the eavesdrop of a house to hear the conversation inside.
I’m a writer. I like to say I’m a word nerd, or language geek. My brain likes to devise some fun word romps for me. Like, if an eavesdropper also looks in the window are they primarily still an eavesdropper, or have they become a peeping Tom?
I’m a writer. This does not automatically make me an introvert, contrary to the gazillion and one memes out there perpetuating the idea.
I’m a writer. I like to hole myself up and write. The fact that you may not see me or hear from me for days, is not cause for concern. It means I’m writing. I’m not alone. I have a husband and a cat. I feed and care for all of us, daily.
I’m a writer. I’m retired from my former day jobs. I don’t have to moonlight at the keyboard anymore, but writing late into the night, when it’s dark and quiet, is a hard habit to break.
One of my foremost mentors used to say she was grooming me to carry on for her when she was gone. She was partially paralyzed from failed spinal surgery. She preferred scotch in the evenings to opiates. She stayed up until the wee hours, pecking away at the keys. She slept in late and woe be the person (family, friend, or enemy) who called or came knocking at her door before noon.
My beloved mentor died two years ago. Her words are coming to pass, the whole ball of wax —bad back, can’t tolerate opiates, appreciating the flavor bouquet of a good shot of whiskey (or two), and staying up late into the night to write. Not having as much luck with the no contact before noon, though.
Woe to the deviant who lives in the conforming, hardworking, up at dawn, rural midwest. I’m working, whether it’s writing and reading what others write, tending my garden, cleaning my house, cooking, or slaying the list of home maintenance chores that will loom over me until I’m in my grave.
I’m working or playing (I am retired, after all) sixteen or more hours a day. They may not be the same sixteen hours that you are up, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I’m not lazy, I’m not ill, I’m not depressed. I’m a writer and I’m okay, really.
I’m a writer. I’m not an introvert. I’m great in social situations, the life of the party. I sing in public, I dance in public, I strike up conversations with strangers in public. None of these are in the wheelhouse of an introvert. I do these things in the evenings (mostly) with my husband (mostly) and more often than anybody thinks because I’m not sharing the evidence on social media feeds.
Sometimes my social life is why I’m sleeping late the next morning. Again, no photos of the late night antics and I won’t be sharing the details. Or at least, you won’t recognize them in anything I write.
I have a storybook charming, cottage home, nestled in the pristine northern woods, walking distance from a spring fed lake. I’m surrounded by nature’s beauty and might. Writer’s pay for a retreat like this. I don’t have to.
I have a studio—a real one, separate from my home. I have a pool, it’s older than dirt but it holds water and is mighty refreshing on hot summer days. I’m not so crippled yet that I can’t climb the ladder to get in.
I have a porch swing tucked under a canopy. It’s my quiet place, where I sit on lazy afternoons noodling new plots for future novels, while I watch the birds flit around the feeders. It’s swagged out with shimmery beads. I like the Cleopatra vibe they add, very queenly.
I don’t go on about how fortunate I am because it sounds pretentious . I won’t be bringing it up again any time soon, so please remember not to worry about me. I’m not an introvert, I’m not ill, I’m not lazy, I’m not depressed.
I’m a writer. I’m living the dream here.