For years, I thought of myself as a writer who just didn’t write. I had nothing to show for my non-writing, but I did have some rigid labels for myself.
I didn’t write poetry
except the first thing I ever got published was a poem.
I didn’t write short stories
except the best pieces of writing I had were short fiction.
I definitely didn’t do non-fiction
except that seems to be what’s coming my way now and I’m loving it.
It’s funny, the boxes you construct for yourself. The boxes that make you feel safe and structured.
Sometimes those boxes are big enough but most times, they’re only big enough for a while. Big enough until they’re not.
That’s when you need to make decisions. Leave the carefully constructed box for something that lets you grow, or stay safe and warm and comfortable in a space that stunts you.
I know, when I put it like that, who would choose to be stunted? But we all do. Being stunted is often so much more comfortable than growing. Heck, they even talk about ‘growing pains’ – you don’t really hear about ‘non-growing pains’ or ‘comfy box pains’, but we should hear about it more.
So, in the interests of getting myself out of the comfortable box, I’m rewrite my rules:
I am a writer and an editor.
I am a wide reader of all the stories that interest me.
Maybe by writing out the boxes I want, however broad they may be, will make it so. The only limitations I have are my own. What boxes do you construct for yourself?