Maybe it’s because I have a three year old, but I’ve been thinking a lot about pretend play. As a writer, it’s my job to pretend. Day after day, sitting at my desk, I pretend my characters are real.
I also pretend my writer self does not exist.
Instead of a writer, I think of myself as an actress. I live in the skin of my protagonist. I dress like her. I eat like her. I talk in her voice. I keep a journal as if it were hers.
After that, I pick up a new profession. I’m a gardener and I tend to my words with patience and care. I trim the story where my garden has overgrown. I pull out weeds and I keep planting new things.
Then, with a first draft in hand, I turn into a surgeon. I cut open the manuscript with precision and confidence. I use my tools. I ask for help from other professionals. I remain calm. I finish the job.
Finally, when the writing day is done, I take a bow, dust off my hands, hang up my white coat, and go back to calling myself a writer.