In the mid-90s, I encountered the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron at a retreat center. As I purchased the book, the woman at the little bookstore asked me if I was an artist. For the first time in my life, I said yes, that I was a writer.
I wasn't really. I had been a college professor for close to two decades and I did write some. I had written a doctoral dissertation and I had written half a dozen articles and papers to read at conferences and book reviews. That was part of my job and my work towards promotion and tenure in the academic system. But because I wrote things, I guess I was a writer.
But that's not what I was declaring in that little bookstore on Orcas Island. I was declaring myself a creative. It wasn't a conscious decision to say yes to her question. It came from some deeper part of me, some deeper knowing. And over the last 15 years, I have stepped into that declaration. I've written hundreds of short pieces, a memoir that was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award in literary excellence, completed a novel, and begun a second. I had no inkling on that June morning in 1996 that I was going to do any of those things but I did know the potential was there.
When we declare our intention, whether it be conscious or no, the universe steps in to support us. That's why I advise all my coaching clients to begin introducing themselves as writers or painters or potters or weavers, even if they're just beginning. For we create our reality with our words; it's an amazing power that humans have.
Just as we don't always know what will come out on the blank page when we sit down to write or draw or paint, we don't know wht will come in our lives until we declare ourselves open to have it happen. Give it a try and let me know what transpires.