Since finishing my book, (I am editing, illustrating and thinking about publication), I have found a new level of contentment, excitement, aspiration, and inspiration. I never realised it at the time, but now reflecting on my writing process, I understand that writing, and most importantly, finishing that book was an emotional breakthrough for me. I wasn't struggling through emotional turmoil so much as I was proving to myself that I could do it. I could write a book. The whole thing was completely instinctive and intrinsic. It was as though my body knew better than I did its motives for inspiration and passion. And now, alive and well on the other side, I have been given an overwhelming sense of confidence and identity.
I always knew that I was a writer, but actually finishing a book that I am proud of gives it so much certainty. I always have and always will experience a certain level of doubt and fear, but now this accomplishment has shown me that regardless of my terrors and qualms, I can write and I will write. I was given the confidence to rise above these things, and furthermore, the concrete identity of a writer. Of course, writer is only one of many aspects of my identity, some of which include wonderer, observer, dreamer, maker, story-teller, listener, and lover. But now I feel that no one could possibly ever ever ever ever argue that I'm not a writer. I am a writer.
The burst of confidence and accomplishment has lavished me also with ideas. If you remember, I had started keeping a Commonplace Book at Lemony Snicket's advice, and within the last few days, I have been constantly scribbling words, places, observations and thoughts. I feel like the completion of my book has given me a pass into a new stratosphere of inspiration.
I have already begun to discuss ideas for a new story with my mum. The concept is deeply personal and reflective. Mum made an observation. She suggested that this book allows me to explore myself - my feelings and every aspect of my personality - as I experience revelation of self-awareness and love. And that awakened me to another thought.
How incredible is it that literature, art, dance, drama and music give those who make them a vehicle to a place of understanding. Writing for me is a medium through which, sometimes unconsciously, I can reflect, ask questions, vent, and problem-solve. Perhaps I will understand myself better after it, or perhaps I will have only acknowledged the complexity and beauty of my emotional state. Neither is better than the other. Can you see now how people who use the arts, whether they consciously know it or not, are given a great opportunity to improve their emotional health? It amazes me to imagine how many do not experience it.