I wonder…when it happens, is it a conscious thing? A strike of lightning forever imprinted on your memories?
Or, is it a more subtle thing, something that creeps up on you like that ivy that covers the walls of old houses?
I’m not sure. But I know at the moment, I’ve got a wicked case of impostor syndrome. How can I possibly call myself a writer?
I’ve got no problem calling myself an editor. After a decade playing with words that way, I think it’s fair to claim that title. And I suppose it feels more…solid? More logical, perhaps. I’m a ponderer, and when I’m having discussions, I often take a minute to analyse whatever is being said. If, in an attempt to seem less awkward, I don’t take that time, I come off like Sheldon in Bang Bang Theory, trying to fit into a social situation where the cues sometimes baffle me.
So far, I’ve written a big handful of short stories (the most recent is in Me and My Boi, coming out next month!) and I’ve now signed contracts for two novels. The first of the Afterlife, Inc series, Fury’s Bridge, is with my editor, and the second, Fury’s Choice, is due to her in November. Perhaps, in a small way, this is the beginning of the moment I can call myself a writer. Although, the second novel is misbehaving, and my characters are languishing where I’ve left them until I figure out why they’re being so painfully awkward…
Still, I don’t feel like a writer. I don’t have an old fashioned writing desk. I don’t sit in the sunshine with other writers, talking about the existential meaning of life before I go home and write some deep literary piece about a person hanging out in the sunshine with other writers talking about the existential meaning of life. I don’t smoke a pipe or have a clunky old typewriter. But, I do hang in out in my pjs while drinking a lot of coffee. Maybe that’s a baby step.
Anyway, if you want to come see how painfully awkward I am, and maybe hear a little bit about the characters I fell a little bit in love with in Fury’s Bridge, come to the Bold Strokes Book Festival in Nottingham. There are lots of other fabulous, totally-not-awkward authors there who have fabulous new books to share with you.