I stopped dressing up for Halloween a long time ago...but I picked it up again when my kids were young and have been doing it every year since - who knew it could be so much fun to dress up like a chef, a rock star, the elementary school principal? But the good thing about Halloween is that it's just one day of pretending to be something you're not.
It's not at all what I feel like I've been doing since December 9, 2020 when I declared to my family, friends, and perfect strangers that I had written a book - that I was a writer. An author. I still have trouble saying it. I wish there was the option of calling myself a "storyteller" and leaving it at that. But it's not that easy, and after all these months, I still struggle with saying the words "I'm an author." Instead, I settle for "I just published my first novel." As if I had nothing to do with the writing part of it. I mean, let's be honest. I haven't won any awards, I'm not on any bestseller list. I'm not (gasp) traditionally published. But strangers have paid real money for my books. They have read tens of thousands of pages written by me. They have enjoyed my story. Maybe those are the things that define me as a writer.
And, oh man my friends, do I love writing! The process of creating characters and bringing them to life is one of my favorite things to do. It brings me so much joy to give them relationships to navigate, obstacles to overcome, idiosyncrasies to make them relatable, and plenty of food to eat. All these years I've been writing, I never imagined I'd ever put myself out there - put my stories out there - for others to read. But I did it. And I'm going o do it again. And again. Because I am not a professional chef or a rock star or an elementary school principal. l am a writer. An author.