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Different directions

A friend asked me recently if I still had any childhood dreams for my future that are unrealistic. My immediate response was becoming an author; she was quick to my defense, saying that if anything my continued dedication to writing was surely a sign that one day I might actually be able to get there. Her question made me think about how I define success, but also about how I define myself, a writer. The definition is not all that important, but I think there’s an important discussion in the thinking behind it.

I’ve been blogging for about 9 years. The blogs I’ve had in the past have usually come to an end because I’ve tried to keep to a theme – everyone has a blog nowadays and the advice for running a successful one is always the same, “find your niche.” But I don’t have one. Sticking to one thing just isn’t working for me. So I’m redefining my little web space and hopefully creating more of a portfolio instead.

Writing and vulnerability

I’ve always written, in one way or another. I’ve always kept sporadic diaries, notebooks of idle thoughts, scraps of stories and articles – a literary kleptomaniac.

I broadly call myself a writer because it is one of the only things I do consistently. I’m tentatively shifting towards thinking of myself as an artist; or, if not that far, then just a person who is constantly driven to be creating, mainly things with meaning but also things that I think of as beautiful.

Creating is all about vulnerability and I believe it comes with its own brand of self doubt. I write things that explore my view of the world so the result is personal, of course it is. Everyone experiences this self doubt: the blush of shame when someone reads out loud something you’ve written or the hesitation as someone asks to look over your work before you send it.

Sometimes I get worried about sharing something I’ve written that doesn’t “fit” with my website. I’ve been trying to pigeonhole myself for too long and it’s become too messy to keep up with, so it’s time to embrace life and weirdness in its different forms and take on a new direction (or several, unrelated directions).

Maybe not having a niche is my niche… or maybe that’s just a cliché.

How do you feel after pressing publish?

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