My spirit’s been having a rough time, lately. Even though it’s been several months since The Trauma at the end of Germany, I still haven’t been able to write like I used to. Short stories, sure. Flash fiction and scraps of poetry. But nothing like a novel.
And it’s awful because so much of my identity – so much of my self-worth – is Danielle = writer. That was my thing. My gift. My magic. So my brain says to me, If you’re not churning out books, then who even are you? And what is the point of you?
Because my brain is not my friend.
Fortunately, Will and Tirzah are.
I was speaking my sadness to them; sighing my wish that I were a cooler character in my life’s story. And thus spake they of me:
Tirzah: Hold on. Someone, write up all the things about her that she would find cool if she heard them about someone else.
Will Scarlet: Well, we’ve covered the hell-ton of written/published works and Europe. Also: Ren Faire.
She can hear dialogue and music cues from childhood movies and radio in her head. Surely that’s a low-grade superpower.
She has a lute. She owns a cool hat bought in Manchester, and epic boots reminiscent of Merry Men.
She makes friends of fountains. She’s in love with the moon.
She’s never too old to sing the songs she likes from kiddie stuff, and geeks out at krakens and balrogs.
She apologizes to books for dropping them, and takes care not to smother her stuffed animals.
She drove the back end of Maui – where even the locals dare not wend!
Me: Okay. You make me sound credible.
Will: Then I’m failing, cuz you’re INcredible.
Tirzah: She’s created great art. She’s adventured far and wide. She’s written, lived, and loved stories.
She’s had an eye for the beauty in every place she’s been, and faced many fears for the sake of beauty and adventure.
She’s come up against Giants and been wounded, but not defeated. She rises up again after every blow.
She’s kind in spite of all, and true of heart in spite of much. She’s always pushing onward, herself and others – sometimes in vain, sometimes too hard, but sometimes to glory. And sometimes to simple survival.
She’s noisily brave. She’s faced trials in and out. She has kingdoms hidden under her hats, of which she has many – figurative and otherwise. She’s always pressing forward and branching out and learning new things.
She’ll do what she must. And what she must is, in her mind, a far higher standard than most would dare raise their eyes to.
Me [through literal tears]: Thanks for liking me, guys.
Will: Pssht. Why wouldn’t I?
And I share all this not so readers can see me, but so that those among them who need to can maybe see what they’ve been overlooking in themselves.
Being cool, being somebody, being Enough – it’s not all about Big Things you can do or have done. It’s not all about achievements or talents.
It’s also about the little ordinary things, and the everyday weird things, and the quirks and the quiet strengths that all add up to the person you are.
I needed to hear that – and probably will need it again, before I’ve healed enough to return to my old word wizardry. Hearing likely won’t always mean believing, but as the West Wind once said, “what is true does not require your belief to be.” So believe it or not, Danielle, here is the truth:
Danielle = writer is inaccurate math.
Danielle > that.