One of the major themes of Summer Twilight is exploring the labels we give ourselves, and how they affect the way we view the world, and the way the world sees us in turn. Throughout this journey, I will share some of my own labels, and the journey they have taken me on. We are all #morethanourlabels
I've never really thought of myself as creative until recently. A big part of the reason is because both my mom and my little brother are artists, so growing up my definition of creative meant you had to draw, paint, or sculpt. My drawing abilities begin and end with stick figures; I can color inside the lines in coloring books, but I do better with color-by-number because I'm never sure what goes together.
I've never possessed the messy creativity of my brother, who is a true artist to the bone. He's an animator, and I've always been stunned by what he creates. I'm his polar opposite - aggressively type A, hyper-organized, and easily bored in art museums. I internalized for a long time that I was not a creative. The gene had skipped me, and I was mostly okay with it.
But in a weird way, it made writing hard. It was kind of a taboo action in my mind (and to be clear, only in my mind - my mother and brother have never been anything but supportive). I wrote stories, acted out scenes from plays, musicals, and movies, but I never allowed myself to believe that made me "creative". I just looked at it as an escape from the world.
It's weird, because I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. But, because I'd labeled myself as "not creative", I lost more than I realized. I felt awkward and uncomfortable talking about my writing with friends and loved ones. I'd established myself as eminently practical, someone who worked hard, with an analytical mind and solved problems. I worked in government, and in academia; two fields which do not necessarily lend themselves to debates on the best way to battle a dragon.
When I was nine and in 3rd grade, I remember telling my whole class that I wanted to be an author. I quickly grew out of it - in later years I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist, a war correspondent, a press secretary, and a Coast Guard officer. I sought structure, and tried to limit my own creativity to achieve it.
I started seriously writing Alex and Caidy's story in 2017, though the characters had been with me much longer. My writing coincided with joining a Dungeons & Dragons campaign - suddenly creativity was no longer weird or dorky, it was fun and collaborative. I was inspired.
Over the past three years, I've learned a lot about myself, and I've slowly come to terms with the fact that I am creative. Writing is challenging; it requires perseverance and dedication. I've been able to use my practical, organizational skills to stay on task, and develop a good structure and flow for the plot. But each word, each page, flows from my creative center.
This year, I'm realizing a dream I've had for 16 years: to become an author. Writing for me isn't a choice, it isn't an option. It's what I do, how I process, and the way I view the world. I am creative. I am an author.
And, most importantly, I can be creative and an author without giving up my other passions. I am practical and goal-oriented. I work in emergency management, and spend my work days solving problems. I love my work, my co-workers, and the professional opportunities I've learned. And I can also love sitting down with a hot cup of tea to delve into a magical world, create a mural of murder and conspiracy, of love and fantasy.
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!