Something's changed in the last month or so. I feel excited about writing again. For a long time--years--I haven't felt like a writer. Part of it is the imposter syndrome that most, if not all, writers experience. But part of it was that I felt like the writing I was doing wasn't going anywhere. When I chose "change" as my word of the year, this feeling was one of the things I wanted to change.
So, in the last month, I've focused on "going somewhere" with my writing. I'm working on pitches for two articles for a children's history magazine. I'm polishing a short story to submit to an anthology. All three are due at the end of this month, and I expect every one of them to be rejected. That's how rusty I am. For me, this exercise isn't about acceptance. It's about putting myself--or rather, my work--out there.
After I send these submissions into the wild, it will be time to find another deadline or two to pursue. And time to work on Draft 4 of my novel-in-progress.
It's still a struggle to balance work, writing, and life. More often than not, the scales still tip toward work. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can call myself a writer without feeling like a fraud.