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daily fieldnotes » Blog's archive » 2013: A Year of Writing Hopes
 
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2013: A Year of Writing Hopes 2

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to claim the identity of writer. To come out of the closet, so to say. To stop thinking my obsession with stories and words has to be private. I’ve written and written and squirreled away hundreds of pages over the years, everything from conversations to descriptions of the cities I’ve called home. I’ve read about other writers’ process, and listened to radio interviews, and read books with an eye to metaphors. But I’ve always been afraid to call myself a writer.

What does it take, to claim what we’ve always wanted, or known ourselves to be?

For years I ached to have a child. In 2012, I had my Basil at last, a squirming, sunshiny boy who’s now 10 months. I claimed the identity of mother instantly and completely when I pushed him out, worried over him in the NICU for 48 hours, brought him home to our snug apartment. But then I claimed it little by little as I got used to how others saw me, what it was like to go everywhere with him. I continue to claim it as I learn about naps, and cooking for a family, and what it means to parent with JJ, and how to be myself while caring for my child.

Claiming the identity of writer has never been instantaneous or complete. I heard Barbara Kingsolver once say in an interview that she didn’t imagine she could be a writer as a kid, because only dead, white men were writers. And look at her now. In Animal Dreams, her fourth book, she writes as part of a letter from one sister to another:

“[T]he very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a  distance, but live right in it, under its roof (p.299)”.

I figured out a long time ago that I hope to write. It’s time now, at the dawn of 2013, to live inside these writing hopes, occupy them as a place where sunshine can pour through windows, where flowers can bloom, where writing can become something that belongs to me.

A new year. A new beginning, on this blog. An essay|story|post here, every Tuesday.

Want to join me? What do you hope to begin, this year?

2 comments

  1. Megsie

    01/02/2013 at 9:03 am

    I came here Monday and re-read your post and the comments for it because I caught up with everyone, and I missed your words. And, here you are! I am giddy! I will try and join you, but not on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are my LONG days with two classes in the morning/afternoon and one at night until 10:00. But once a week SHOULD be do-able. I want to. I will try. I am so excited that you are trying too. I love your writing. Happy New Year, Willow! xo

     
    • Cherry

      01/03/2013 at 7:58 am

      Wow, that is a long day on Tuesdays. And yes, yes, join me! Maybe your day can be Wednesdays – tell us about your teaching, I know I’d love to hear about it!

       

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