The artistic identity I choose is prolific writer.
By this I mean I write a lot (well da!). The prolific is important, it was the word that finally allowed me to claim my identity as a writer, the word that captures my authenticity. I can’t just write once a day, I can’t just write three morning pages a day. I have to write constantly, or at least have permission to write constantly. That’s what allows the milk to flow. I have suffered from mastitis of the soul, and as any nursing mother would know, the only way to cure mastitis is to feed constantly until the block is cleared. So I feed regularly, or write regularly, and the flow is beginning. First it was just blah, blah, blah. Then it became more of a prayer or dreaming: what would I like my life to look like? Now I feel the pressure to write creatively.
The personal consequences of choosing this particular identity are that I am happy, I am authentic, I am writing.
I am in danger of doubting this identity if I listen to the “right way to write”. “At 4pm every day I shall write for an hour” will kill my writer quicker than a bullet between the eyes. Carrying a notebook with me everywhere, and writing where and when I want makes my writer sing with joy, dance with freedom, and cry in wonder “wow! look at that: isn’t it strange, wondrous, hilarious, outrageous, exotic, terrifying, thrilling, marvellous (or whatever adjective the situation requires). Isn’t it wonderful to be alive! Isn’t it wonderful to be living with my eyes wide open.”
When a crisis occurs and I begin to doubt the value or rightness of this identity: I will write, I will walk and write, I will write and walk, I will write prolifically, I will write from morning to night, I will write until the flood of words flushes the detritus of doubt out of my system, my life, my self concept, my reality, my universe, out of the very fabric of creative humanity. I WILL WRITE.