It’s 9:30 AM and I told myself I have to start working at 10. Let’s write for 30 minutes. Come on in.
Take your shoes off, make yourself at home.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Mac Miller’s music. It’s beautiful. Some of his songs where he low-key predicted his death are quite hair-raising, though. But that’s not the point.
In his song Skin, he says:
"And all I do is make these fucking songs, so finally I made a fucking song"
Get it? When—and if—I decide to write about sex, I’ll make sure to put that front and center.
You know what’s something I keep coming back to? A question, really.
Can my present self write about what I went through in a way that doesn’t undermine who I am?
I’m unclear on this.
On the one hand, I fear I’m limiting myself for reasons with questionable legitimacy. I think of my favorite artists and their pain. I rarely define them as the thing that they endured. (Sometimes I do, though.)
Then again, people expect things from you when you put yourself in a box. You’re expected to discuss it- at length, at demand. You have to advocate for those who are currently going through what you went through.
Maybe these are self-appointed expectations that no one thinks of but me. Maybe it’s like that door in the cover image above.
“Self appointed expectations lead to self induced frustrations.”Abraham Low
What have I identified with in the past?
I’ve identified as a writer. I’ve called myself a writer, got full-time writing jobs, built a freelance writing career, did interviews on the topic, shared my tips on it, wrote about it (of course).
Writing is a substantial part of my identity.
People—maybe you too—have come to me to ask how I get clients, how much I charge, whether I’d be interested in this or that opportunity (which I’ve appreciated a lot). Many people have “simply” asked: “How does one start writing?” It has taken me 100+ articles to answer this and it’s something I’m still figuring out myself.
Writing is within all of us, and not just in the fine-motor-skills-“I can hold a pen” way.
Thousands of people feel the need to write, the calling to share. But they want to know how I do it, just like I wanted to know how others did it before I started doing it. People have shared cover letters and manuscripts and kindly asked about my opinion on them.
Recently, I started a podcast. I shared it with all of you. Now, I’m a podcaster.
Funny how that works, right? You start doing something regularly and then you’re that thing, with an -er.
Some of you have told me you’re really enjoying the podcast. Some of you have also come to me to ask how I launched my podcast, which tools I recommend, how to distribute podcast episodes, etc.
I’m a podcaster now, remember?
How I launched my podcast
The short answer is through Anchor.fm. They make it incredibly easy to add your voice recordings. They share them on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.). It’s free too. Most phones and computers have great audio now, so you can record in either. All that’s left is to decide what you want to talk about. “All that’s left,” like that’s the easy part.
It’s 10 am. I’m supposed to stop writing now.
The thing is, I don’t mind being labeled as a writer or podcaster.
Which brings us back to: Can my present self write about what I went through in a way that doesn’t undermine who I am?
I’m aware of how eternal the internet is. Once you put things out there, there’s no going back.
If I will write, say, about my eating disorder, I’ll be the girl with the X eating disorder.
I don’t want to be any one thing, which is my problem with sharing the things I went through.
The worse the thing you share, the more you’ll be identified with it.
There’s no getting away from her then. Her being the one with the alcoholic family member, her with the eating disorder, her that was raped, her that was cheated on, her with the abusive ex, her with the addiction.
See what I mean? I say that and your head’s already spinning—what addiction? which family member?—even though I didn’t say her is me. It’s not, relax.
Speaking of Mac Miller (Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend), let’s take Pete Davidson (Ariana Grande’s ex-fiancee) as an example. Millions of us learned of Pete’s existence because of his relationship with Ariana. Pete was Ariana’s boyfriend, then Ariana’s fiancee. She said he was, umm, well endowed. He was Pete with the BDE. For quite some time after their breakup, he was Ariana’s ex. She also said that he was just a rebound, even though they got engaged. He was then Ariana’s rebound.
Pictured: Mac Miller, Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson.
Pete Davidson is an extremely talented actor and comedian, but for a while, he was just those things I mentioned above.
Our brains use heuristics, boxes, labels. It’s easy, second nature, and often useful.
Do you see now why I don’t know the answer to this question?
I’ve considered writing about some things under an alias. Finding an alias sounds exciting.
My plan so far has been to wait. To wait and wait until what I write is so far removed from me that it might as well be that someone else experienced it and I’m borrowing their story.
Would I feel as nonchalant being asked about a podcast streaming service as I would about abuse?
In the meantime, there are three things you can do:
- share aliases you think would suit me
- pinky promise you won’t think of me as Delfina the X
- let me know what’s a non-googleable question you don’t know the answer too.