Like many writers, I am usually working on a couple of projects at once. Right now, I'm writing a work of YA fiction, about a girl with heightened empathy that functions like a super power, and I am also working on another book, that is something like a memoir made of a patchwork quilt of poems and essays. I work on the former book (almost) every day, no matter whether I feel like writing or not. With the latter, I wait for the words to come to me. The nature of the material makes me feel like I need to take my time.
I will be sharing bits and pieces of these projects in this space, and would love your feedback. Let me know what you think in the comments, or shoot me a message from my contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.
Without further ado, here is an excerpt from the latter project, my memoir (kinda).
Most of the people in my life, whether we are casual acquaintances or life-long friends, know that I am a writer. That's the answer I give when people ask me what I do for a living. It's prominently displayed on my social media profiles. It's what I write down on the blank line meant for "mother's occupation," on my children's school forms.
I am not lying. I am a writer. But it is also not the whole truth. I am also an actress and I have been an actress at least as long as I've been a writer, maybe longer. I've been an actress for so long that I don't even have to try any more. I just do it.
Acting is my default and I have to work hard at being myself instead of creating a self.
Acting feels like wrapping myself in a soft shell. A shell that can be bent and molded into whatever shape is most convenient for the moment. This person needs me to be funny. I can do funny. That one wants me to play the good girl. I can be that. Someone else needs me to be small? I can shrink my frame. I can compress my existence if it means that existence will be protected. Maybe not safe, but at least protected. At least there is one more layer between pain and me, so that the hurt will come close, but not quite touch me.
Acting feels like survival, and I struggle with convincing myself I do not need it.