I read recently that my personality type is known to struggle constantly over questions of identity, that apparently people like me spend a lot of their mental energy on working out who exactly they are and what they stand for. At first I thought this was a load of cods-wallop. Another attempt by someone trying to put us all in little boxes with neat labels on our foreheads if we ever try to break out.
But then I found myself in the strange no mans land that exists when a book is finished but not yet tangible. It's the space I currently sit in. My 19th children's book, Fearlessly Madison is currently at the printers. My ideas, Jemima's artwork and the editorial tie-it-all-togetherness that goes into a book is now experiencing the rather mundane but incredible work of being put to print. And while that's going on I'm doing an awful lot of soul searching.
There is the normal authorly self doubt (Will people like the new story? Have I done enough? Maybe I should give up... etc), and then there's the bigger (and possibly true-er) questions of passion and communication and family and friendship and purpose and... But that's probably enough of an insight for you into the world of my mental ramblings.
Some of this repeated thinking occurs every time a new book is about to be launched into the world. I wonder if it's because really I'm much more at home in the creating side of my role as an author than the saleswoman side. The leap between the two for each project requires a redefining of who I am again, who I am through the lens of this new story - because as every author (and some readers) know; writers write from who they are.
And I am me. Just the grown up version of a little girl who once held her daddy's hand on a dark, wet Bengali night and learned to trust a God bigger than the storm. A trust I continue to learn.
In high school I used to call them 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. These days I probably call them journal entries, or blog posts. Whatever the name, here's some of what I get when the penny drops, or doesn't, and I sit down to write...