Different things matter to me now. I realized this when I opened up this old scrapbook full of articles about me and emails congratulating me for winning awards, and for almost winning awards. The article was great, so I cut it out carefully and scanned it so I could share it with you, dear reader.
Listen to me read this here:
Back in 2005, the summer after I bought Grandma’s house but wasn’t yet living here, I was awarded a two-week stay in the Wallace Stegner House in breathtakingly-beautiful Eastend, Saskatchewan. (Arguably it’s the east end of nowhere but, as I mentioned, it’s an astonishingly lovely bit of nowhere.) The Wallace Stegner House is a retreat for artists of all genres. Poets, sculptors, novelists, painters, and playwrights apply to stay in this house and some lucky ones are granted the opportunity.
Wallace Stegner was born in 1909 and died in 1993 at the age of 84. He won several awards for his writing including the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the National Book Award in 1977. In his autobiography, Wolf Willow, Mr. Stegner tells about the childhood years he spent in Eastend, Saskatchewan. While growing up, he also lived in Great Falls, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The best thing about this article is that it’s an interview with me conducted by me! I’d forgotten I’d done this. The folks who support and manage the artist retreat, and keep it full of interesting residents, wanted to somehow promote my stay. Being a newspaper columnist at the time, I offered to do a write-up about myself. I thought it was more engaging to write it interview style than as a bio piece. I laughed out loud when I found this old article this morning that was full of me talking to myself. Not so different than many of the days I spend hanging around the house by myself lately…
As I flipped through that old scrapbook, I remembered how important becoming a writer had been to me. The scribbles and comments, the letters and emails that filled those 40X30 cm. pages told of a young woman who was striving to establish her dream identity. More than anything, I wanted to be a writer. More than anything, I craved a solid, successful identity.
This morning, this obvious desire that I used have to become a certain “someone” surprised me a little. I mean, I recall wanting it, that badge for myself, that title. What I can’t quite pin down is when I lost track of that identity. When did I un-label myself? When did I lose my writer identity? Somewhere along the line, I simply stopped caring about being a writer.
People change. Sometimes change happens overnight and sometimes it happens over years. For me, the need to establish and maintain my writerly identity faded gradually, so gradually, in fact, that I never really noticed it happening. I don’t miss it, that leaky little life raft that my ego clung to, that fragile identity which now I seem to have misplaced. I think I’ll be just fine without it.
If you liked what you read here, please feel free to share it to your own social media networks. That would be great. Please also consider following me right here on WordPress or through your email account. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here next time. ~ Lori
“Yesterday’s over my shoulder, so I can’t look back for too long.” – Jimmy Buffett