I was just reading a blog post about writer’s personality traits at http://victoriamixon.com/2010/07/13/6-personality-types-who-will-succeed-as-writers/
(thank you to Julie Musil for compiling some great articles at http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/2010/07/best-articles-this-week-for-writers_23.html) and it struck me that I don’t really consider myself a writer at this point. I’m a psychologist, not a writer, right?
I only started writing fiction about three years ago, on a lark, and it feels startling that I have a published novel out there. (I also feel very fortunate!) Less than two weeks ago Omnific Publishing released With Good Behavior–that reality is still sinking in. Every weekend I find myself becoming a little more immersed into writing. It’s been a blast learning about this craft as well as meeting dedicated authors and voracious readers.
Then Monday hits and I’ll pull myself away from the writing world to sit down with my psychotherapy clients. Some days it’s a rather jarring transition. Suddenly the “characters” in my world are behaving in unpredictable, initially puzzling ways (though once I get to know clients better, their choices make perfect sense). The interpersonal connection of therapy is deep and intense (on a good day) whereas writing can be a very solitary activity.
There is some overlap between therapy and fiction writing, though. Therapy is all about story-telling after all. Both therapy and writing require introspection and emotional sensitivity, as well as a fascination with people—their strengths, their quirks, their relationships. Therapy necessitates perseverance and optimism, which have served me well when staring at a blank Word document.
I’m curious about my future directions for career and identity, and I’m sure it will be an interesting ride. Certainly I’m not the only one who has a “day job”, writing on the side. How does writing fit into your identity? How has your writing career evolved?