I have this weird single-minded aspect to my personality.
I like to think that what other people think about me doesn’t matter, but in a way it does. Not so much the harsh criticism and insults often hurled my way, sometimes verbally, sometimes only mentally. I mean if you bother to think that I’m a fat, ugly, stupid bitch of a human being, I’m pretty sure I’m not associating with you much for that to be a really big issue.
I guess I’m more concerned with what people think about me in terms of how people think of me in relation to the way I present myself.
If you ask me what I am, I’ll tell you that I’m a writer first and foremost. That’s me. That’s my career (as unsuccessful as it currently is). It’s a big part of my identity. But it’s not my ENTIRE identity. I know that. I’m sure other people know that. And I don’t think that way about other people. But for some ridiculous reason I’ve got it in my head that if I present any other aspect of my identity, then people won’t take me seriously as a writer.
It’s like this. I know that most people don’t consider writing a real job. I don’t get a regular paycheck. I don’t go to an office. Hell, I don’t even have to put on real pants. Because I can’t support myself, it’s not real work. It’s hard enough already to be taken seriously as a writer because I’ve yet to publish a book and/or I’m not a best-selling author (yet).
Now, you take that insecurity and couple it with my other interests and I’ve created a great dilemma for myself. For example, I make and sell jewelry. I like jewelry. I like to make jewelry. It’s another creative outlet for me. Selling it gives me a little more money towards making the ends meet every month. But I’m afraid that by promoting the jewelry I make and sell people will think I’m not serious about my writing.
And thus a big part of my identity is negated.
I hate that.
Now, I realize that most of this is all in my head. Not everyone makes their work such a big part of themselves. Most people don’t think of themselves as one thing, so they don’t think of other people as one thing. They probably don’t even bother to break it all down. They don’t think of me as a writer and a jewelry maker and a fat girl belly dancing and a rerun junkie and a baseball floozy and a t-shirt enthusiast and a lover of horrible things. They look at the sum total instead of the parts and it either makes up someone they like or someone they don’t.
It’s my paranoia at play. I know that and I do my best to shove that squirmy thing back into it’s aquarium and lock the top and just let it go and be all of those things. But it’s not always easy. I’m not always able to do it.
Ah, the joys and pains of being a constant work in progress.