“When we were in Big Sky, the person we stayed with is retired and a potter. Her username was Potter1. I’ve never used writer1 or anything associated with writing as a username. When I meet people, I generally say I’m semi-retired. Occasionally if the conversation gets going, I may mention writing is my passion but I don’t typically say, ‘I’m a writer!’ Somehow I think this is important. We should proclaim what we do with pride. Next time I need to create a username, it will be WRITER!!”- Joanne P.
YES! When I get emails like this, I dance my happy dance! When you claim your profession, it thrills me.
Claiming your profession transforms you. Saying “I am an artist” brings power to your dream. Embracing your dream and declaring it as your profession means you are taking yourself seriously.
And it all starts with saying “I am an artist” to yourself.
So, how do you do that?
Start by practicing. Claim your profession in your own voice. Say it out loud.
“I am a [fill in this blank with your chosen profession].”
Feel the words as you speak them. What do you feel when you say them?
Does it feel good?
Does it feel exciting?
Does it feel scary?
Yes to all three? Then you’re headed in the right direction.
By saying “I am an artist/writer/maker/fill in the blank,” you are beginning your transformation. It’s the first step to convincing yourself that you get to have this profession JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO DO IT.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. You have to do the work and take yourself seriously and believe in yourself, even when you think others will laugh or make fun of you.
We worry that people will think we’re silly, that we will have made the wrong choice, that we will follow a path only to end up at a dead end, that we will have to begin again, that our work doesn’t matter.
However, we could do what the whole world says we SHOULD do and STILL have those things happen.
We’ve all had someone in our lives tell us that our dreams are silly, that we don’t have the talent, that we should shut up and take the sensible path.
We’ve even been really REALLY mean and told ourselves that.
But here’s the thing: we get to be what we want to be. We get to do what we want to do. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter if we think it ourselves.
When you claim your profession, you make a choice. You are saying, this is what I choose to be. I will spend my ambition and passion and wit and education and time on this activity.
“I am a writer.”
“I am a maker.”
“I am an artist.”
Why not claim your profession and take this one life’s journey on your own terms?
***This piece is inspired by the quote at the top, and the assertion by my friend and newsletter reader, Joanne, that it would make a good newsletter topic. If you have any ideas, thoughts, or questions you’d like me to respond to in the blog and newsletter, send them on over!