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Identity Crisis - 2017 Edition

Welcome to the first post for 2017! This would normally be the spot reserved for careful reflection of the year that passed and a healthy dose of misplaced optimism for the year ahead.

I've done that all before and to be completely honest, you're going to get enough of that from other people. 

You may have read in previous posts on this here bloggy blog, that I plan on grabbing 2017 by the short hairs and making my dream of being a published author a reality.

2016 saw me accepting the fact that yes, I am a writer. I won't belabor the point here as I'm sure I said it better in other posts. 

One thing that's completely humbling to me, though, is the amount of love and support both from friends and family as well as the community of writers that I find myself now regarding as family. 

It has been an experience that I can scarcely put in to words (which is terrible for a writer, I know), but it's true. Every time I try, I am flooded with emotions.  I'm sure it's partially why the poems came back in such full force the second half of the year.

So, one of the things that I've been pushed in to doing sooner rather than later (because I have friends who have decided that they are going to throw me the rope to climb this dream summit I'm seeking) is figuring out what name I'm going to write under when I publish.  When. Not if. When.

I had originally settled on Andrew Todd.  I plugged all of that in and created a fancy (not really that fancy) Facebook page for my writing, an author page, if you will.  It's over here, if you're interested.

And it's cool. I'm feeling cool with it. The name flows. It's all looking good. 

And then I see that someone has liked the Andrew Todd page this morning. I got the notification "Andrew Todd has liked Andrew Todd" and I kind of freaked out a bit, to be honest.  I thought my account had somehow been hacked. And then I saw that there was actually someone named Andrew Todd. 

My heart fell a little bit. I thought I had been thorough. I searched Amazon and goodreads and didn't see an author Andrew Todd. Note to self, next time, search Facebook. 

I was talking about this with a friend this morning. They reminded me of the struggles I had this year of accepting myself as a writer. That was a huge hurdle for me. And I'm not going to lie, I still don't know that it's quite real yet.  2016 was full of "holy shit, this is real. I'm a writer. I'm owning this shit."  And I'm guessing that 2017 is going to be along those same lines, maybe more so. 

And just like that this problem was addressed.  To be honest, it really wasn't a problem, it was just me overthinking things and finding things to worry about effectively slowing myself down. It's one of the many ways I've gotten in my own way and prevented myself from fully becoming the person I'm meant to be. How's that for some introspection?

So, ladies and gentlemen, I would just like to let you know that when you see my books in the bookstore, library, or online bookshop, you will simply need search only for Todd Skaggs.

Todd Skaggs, Author.

That's me. 

And I'm not going to lie, after fighting so hard to get through the mental sludge holding me back this year, it feels pretty freakin' good to say that.   You'll still see me sign the blogs and the poems with 'A.T.'   It's my way of keeping things a bit distinct. The personal ramblings and the like. 

I have more to say on this whole identity thing, but unfortunately my lunch is up. And I'm not paid to write full time (yet). So, I must get back to work.

Until then, have a wonderful start to your new year.

And in case you missed it, here's my promise to 2017.

Sloughing skin of a year gone by.
Each flake instrumental in
shaping the man before you.
Yet clinging to them would be
dead weight, impeding the man
I am yet meant to become.

Emboldened by love given freely.
The likes of which unknown to
a man resigned to ponder
true love's elusive existence.
I wear love's armor proudly
as I do battle, liberating lifelong dreams I had almost forsaken.

For me it is no mere resolution.
It is a terminal commitment.
I have stood too long, willingly,
in the shadows of who I am to be.
I will make the dreams my reality,
or die trying. Either way set free.

-a.t.

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