Hi; my name is Amber. I’m a writer and creative.
Wait a second…is that a true statement?
Am I a writer? Like, a real writer? Am I really a creative? I can’t even match my socks!
I used to believe that having the title “writer” was an earned accomplishment someone else gave you. It was an external validation of hard work, time, energy, and effort that I put in, but someone else endorsed.
I also believed that “creatives” were visual artists, like painters or fashion designers. I thought this was a learned skill, one that did not come naturally to me.
About 5 months ago, I started a new business. I was living in Bali, and let’s just say that my first business wasn’t going well. Basically, I had no clients. I wasn’t earning any money, and I didn’t know how to make things better. I was putting all of my energy into making this business work, but it wasn’t.
I brought up the idea of starting a new business as a creative, focusing on writing and content strategy, to a small group of business owners. I expected the group around me to gently tell me that I had no place in that world. I wasn’t “qualified” enough. I wasn’t “educated” enough. I wasn’t “good” enough.
What happened was the complete opposite.
This group of about 6 strangers rallied around me with love and support and encouragement. They thought I should work as a creative. They felt like that was who I truly was, but I couldn’t admit it to myself.
What happened was the complete opposite. This group of business owners, which about 6 strangers rallied around me with love and support and encouragement. They thought I should work as a creative. They felt like that was who I truly was, but I couldn’t admit it to myself.
Because I hadn’t ever given myself the permission to call myself a writer or a creative. I didn’t have degrees in those fields. I didn’t have “real” work on my resume to prove that I was talented enough. I didn’t have any legitimate qualifications.
I had drive. Motivation. Willpower. Work ethic.
I also had fear, intimidation, and judgment hanging over my head. I was afraid that people wouldn’t like my writing. (Guess what, some don’t.) I was intimidated because I felt like I had to compare myself to Stephen King or Shakespeare: the “real” writers. (Nope, I’m not like them either.) I was judgmental of my own dream, feeling egotistical that I could even call myself this prestigious title.
After some soul searching (thank you, Bali!), I realized one thing: I am the only one in charge of my title. I am the only one who gets to choose what I say to the socially required “what do you do?” question.
This soul searching led me to two titles: writer and creative.
I am a writer. I write. I write blogs. I write ebooks. I journal. I write fiction. Sometimes, I am really bad at all things writing. But every time, I love it. And I work hard to be better at this every single day.
I am a creative. I create. I create websites. I create doodles. I create funny stories. Sometimes, I am really bad at all things creating. But every time, I love it. And each day, I look for ways to create so that I can improve upon the skills that do come naturally to me.
If you are working hard to create your own title, I ask that you come join me (along with some really great people) in my private Facebook group, The Second Shift. We are doers, dreamers, and supporters, no matter where you are in your journey. We’re in search of something meaningful, and we would love if you joined us too.