We had a writing day today at Karen and Ben’s place. I wasn’t off to a great start, having only had four hours’ sleep the night before for no good reason (much lying awake, staring at the ceiling, that kind of thing). I then stacked it spectacularly walking down the path at the Beilharzs’ – ankle just gave out and there I was, sprawled on the ground at Guan’s feet. It also turned out I had quite deeply grazed my knee, shin and ankle. Hooray.
I sat on the couch and wrote in fits and starts, adding bits onto Undragon Stories and reading over some things. I didn’t get into the flow at all and write anything of substance, but got to strengthen some of the stuff I had written yesterday at Word by Word.
It was a blazing, bright blue day. We went to Newtown and had Japanese for lunch. In the course of the conversation, Karen wanted to confirm with me some things about the Faithful Writer conference in August, namely that I would be on the committee, co-lead a seminar on writing and editing with her, and read some of my work at the end of the day. I said yes. Then, “Wait! What did I just agree to?” Everyone laughed; it’s a bad habit I have of agreeing to things and only later thinking through what it actually means. Karen clarified; I would be helping two other respected authors end the day by reading some of our work to the assembled conferees. I made a face and mouthed “But I’m not a writer!”
I earned myself a swift kick from Guan, at Karen’s behest.
I know why, I mean it’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I go on about writing all the time, it’s what I do, it’s what I want to do, I’m a writer. And yet my gut reaction is to say “but I’m not a writer”. I still feel like a fraud. I still feel like people are just being nice when they ask me to do things. I feel like if only people knew what a hack I am, they’d quickly change their opinions. And being invited to read my work out, on a platform with two men whose writing I greatly admire – surely they must have made a mistake. They can’t mean me!
Why do I do that? I’m a writer. I am a writer. I’m a writer.
Okay, glad we got that sorted.