Relaxing by the Caribbean Sea, at Goff’s Caye
At the time this is published, this post has been in my drafts for several months. I have a lot to say, so here goes.
The experience of being a multi-disciplinary writer, and overall human being, is the daily struggle of my existence. The simple way of explaining who I am is that of an artist, but it is a title I often do not feel comfortable with. I see every aspect of my life through an artistic lens, from expertly matching a textile to the paint color on my bedroom walls, to aligning the elements of a homemade meal perfectly on a plate, to creating the playlist that properly sets a mood for the occasion, to listening intently to others before I speak as I want to make sure the words I utter are pleasing to the ear, and impactful. I know no other way, so why is it so hard to call myself an “artist?”
I write this with a fire in my chest, for many reasons. I often think to myself what my legacy will be, and at the ripe age of thirty-two years old, I really don’t know what that would be. I often beat myself up for being so unfocused, but am I really unfocused? Or is it just that I am very passionate about many things, and quite good at them, so it does avert my attention on the regular? It becomes very hard for me, because I can never give anyone a clear answer when I am asked “what do you do?”, the question that is so quickly asked in cities like NYC and LA before you are asked your name, or how you are doing. In my adult life, I have called myself the following, as I have actively done all of these jobs:
- fashion designer
- sales professional
- music & culture journalist
- prep cook
- rum beverage crafter and bottler
- live events professional
- freelance bio & copywriter
- natural skincare & candle crafter and producer
- on-camera personality
- events producer
My resilience is seen as a strength, but I am resilient because I know no other way. I am used to making something out of nothing. I am used to creating something beautiful when I am in a dark place. I am used to gathering all my resources to create an incredible experience for others. So why do I continue to take a back seat to myself? Why do I continue to question my abilities when I am SO GOOD AT SO MANY THINGS? Self-doubt is a helluva drug, and I do admit it is hard to ween oneself off of. It is as easy to not do something as it is to do something. The issue with not doing it is having the looming thought of “what if” following you wherever you go.
Not writing is probably at the top of my “not-doing” list. Having been a freelance writer for so many years, brainstorming and pitching and submitting to various outlets, I began to feel that my words were not my own. When you submit a piece to any publication, you go through an editor, and depending on who that person may be, there are a few outcomes that may occur. You may have the opportunity to work with an editor who really sees you and hears your voice for what it is worth, and maintains that voice in the finished, published product. You may also work with the editor who really doesn’t edit, and that finished, published product may have errors you did not notice upon submission. Finally, you may have the unfortunate circumstance of working with the editor who not hear your voice, and edits your work to uphold their voice. I have worked with all three types of editors over the years, and in doing so have had triumphs and disappointments alike.
It is easy to not just write, but when your vocation is one of an artist, particularly a storyteller, the writing must continue. As I kick off my 2019, I am constantly reminded of how important it is to learn, question, and research the stories of others that I so feverishly want to tell, knowing that such passion is the impetus for truly sharing my own story with the world.
Welcome to my world.