Maybe I Never Should Have Called Myself a Writer

By Sarah Terez Rosenblum I’ve always been a commitaphobe when it comes to identity. From sexual orientation to avocation; I’m unwilling to claim one facet as the whole. Even with MFA in hand, and my first novel published, when Tinder dates asked, I never said “I write.” Yet in front of my students, I gave […]

Maybe I Never Should Have Called Myself a Writer

An Insightful Piece That Spoke to Me

“First, an inner wall to encircle my creativity. Protecting me from myself, it held my Critical Mind just outside. Next, an outer wall to shelter me from external forces. It kept me insulated from other writer’s voices and the whims of culture and commerce.”

Sarah built these walls out of self preservation, but these are walls I want to build with intention. Whatever reason that we come to these walls, as producers of anything, we need these walls to allow us to focus on our work. I find I want these walls not just as a writer, but as a mother, as a small business owner, as a wife.

What could I produce without my inner critic piping up? What could I do if I was not comparing myself to others? I think I could at the very least reach completion on many more projects. Perhaps that would be the bliss, just making it to completion.

“Over these months of uncertainty I’ve wondered: Do I regret committing to my writing? Would I feel less threatened if I had less self to lose? Maybe the right answer is identity is ever-evolving. A healthy ego can incorporate new information. In the end we’ll grow stronger from this momentary loss of self.”

I have wondered over these last few months, on occasion, do I regret having my daughter; committing to be a mother the rest of my life. Ultimately, the answer comes back to, “No, I don’t regret having her,” but I do have a moment of grief and guilt.

I grieve the lost vision I had for her early life. When we decided to try for a baby, it was late spring of 2019. My husband and I were dating at the time and had a blissful start to the year, enjoying the new demension to our relationship. We had been best friends for years before. We knew we wanted to start our family sooner rather than later. We knew there would be challenges, but we always had counted on the idea that we would be in community, that we would be spending lots of time with our larger family. Then covid hit. We are not willing to risk moving out of isolation, especially as cases are rising all over our country.

I also feel a little guilt because of some selfishness I have about her; I chose to have her because I want her, whatever her future looks like. I brought her into this world for me. I didn’t envision covid. I suspected civil unrest and poverty as likely potentials, but not this inability to safely touch other people. I did not imagine a world where a hug is dangerous.

I am always trying to embrace my own evolution. My husband and I have a philosophy of ourselves and for our little family, “Always try to be just a little better than before.” I’m always questing to be just a little more of the things I like, and a little less of the things I don’t.