On our way down from the peak of Yosemite’s Liberty Cap, my housemate, Max, and I encountered two ill-prepared Hollanders with round bellies and jovial grins. With nothing more than a camera and a some stylish European shorts, they passed us on their way to complete the six hour hike from whence we came.
“How much farther to the top,” the one with the camera sang at me in his heavy Dutch accent.
“Depends on which top,” I replied with a smile, glancing towards the many surrounding peaks.
This halted their gleeful ascent but did little to deter the enormous dimples carved into the corners of their lips.
“Any top,” he chuckled, swaying gently in contentment. “Where are you from?”
“Berkeley,” Max offered.
“Ah ya, so are you in a Startup too?”
“No,” I giggled, gesturing towards Max. “He’s a pilot and I’m a…” I hesitated. “I’m a writer.”
We exchanged a few more pleasantries before they ultimately decided–despite the ominous rainclouds above–to carry on with their hike.
I walked away from the conversation beaming. I had finally done it. After so many sleepless nights spent running through plot lines and character arcs, thousands of hours of drafting and editing, after tens of thousands of words typed, I had finally claimed the identity of a writer as my own. I could have fallen back on my usual response: “Oh I’m starting a teaching job in December,” sometimes accompanied by a barely audible squeak, “and I’m trying to publish a novel.” But I didn’t. I don’t quite know why this particular instance inspired me to own up to my rightful title. Perhaps it was the adrenaline-driven rush of confidence that comes along with completing a challenging hike. Perhaps it was the light-hearted nature of the cheery Dutch man who asked the question. Maybe I was just too damn tired of discrediting all the emotion and energy I’ve put into this book. Regardless, now that I’ve claimed the title of writer I’m never giving it up.
“I am a writer.” Every syllable feels right.
5 thoughts on ““I’m a Writer”: Claiming the Title”
Really enjoyed the, Kassie. Keep going! Walter
Thanks Walter! I really appreciate it. Hope you and Joy are doing well.
Kassie: Have not seen you in several years at the various family gatherings, but I am delighted to hear what your chosen profession is. Your goal in life is admirable and I wish you only a successful road to fame. I look forward to reading your novels/novelettes/books in the near future and the day I can tell people I knew you “when”. Being FB friends with your Mom, has been fun keeping up with your pictures and anecdotes in your progress to adulthood. Good luck with all you do. Love from Anna and Katherine’s Grandma Barb…
Proudest, kassiejoberg! I find I’m only able to give that answer some of the time. Is it because I’m a different kind of writer? I consider my self a workhorse, slogging through technical documents and dragging sense out of others’ bad writing. Not just any workhorse, though. I am a Percheron. That would really throw someone who asked me what I did for a living.
Yes…never give it up. I love your writing skills. I’m glad I saw this on your Mom’s fb..I’m a follower now too. Love it Kassie, enjoy your passion.