I'm A Writer, God Damn It
In my years of teaching women I always come across these dear Beloveds who have been painting all their lives but they refuse to call themselves an Artist. They feel that they are not worthy of such an honor, or that their work is somehow inferior to what an Artist would create.
I'm always confused by these Souls.
How can you invest so much time into something....pour so much love into something...even do it so naturally like breathing...but totally dismiss the fact that yes, you are an Artist?
I don't feel it's my place as their teacher to convince them that they are something, when they think they are not. I just gently nudge them to take a deeper look at what might be holding them back from fully embracing a part of themselves that they truly are.
I believe there is great, great power in the words that we use to define ourselves.
Yes, you can paint everyday of your life and never call yourself an Artist and that would be ok.
But the second you do, I guarantee you something will shift inside you. There might even be a rush of adrenaline or a gentle awakening.
How do I know for sure?
It just happened to me.
Remember when I was back in Cleveland? Remember when I wrote this post about Bringing Blogging Back? What I really was trying to tell you is Whoa. I get it now. Whoa. I'm a writer.
It happened in the most strangest place. Right there. In front of those boring Donald Judd drawings.
I was pushing Phoenix in the stroller when all of a sudden it occurred to me that God damn it Connie, you're a freaking writer.
And just like I said in my blog post--my entire DNA began to rearrange itself and I swear my forehead felt like it was radiating enough electricity to power the whole art museum.
I started to connect the dots in my life like I was mapping constellations.
In second grade I was already journaling. All through elementary school I was constantly having my writing published in this or that and entered in tons of contests. In high school my eleventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Stokols, took me into the hall one afternoon to tell me I was a great writer--that I should consider taking it more seriously. (I thought she was nuts and totally shrugged her off.) I left art school after three years, so that I could go to the university and double major in art history--because I just couldn't live without writing about art. I've kept so many journals that I fear I've caused part of the deforestation in Costa Rica. My first blog was called Constance Thought, I wrote it for almost three years. My second was Violet, it lasted maybe a couple months. My third is Dirty Footprints Studio. I've been writing here for over five years now.
Sometimes I may paint and write. But when I stop painting--I still keep writing.
I always write. I always have. And I know I always will. It's a moving force within me--like a virus or a hefty dose of prana.
Writing is as natural to me as breathing.
So, I'm one of those sweet Beloveds I mentioned earlier. I'm the writer that has refused to call herself a writer.
Not because I don't think I'm worthy. But rather because I don't write fiction or maybe because my name isn't collecting dust somewhere in the Library of Congress.
Whatever it is, I'm over it now.
I think it burned to ashes when my forehead over heated.