“Cheerily re-titled”

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an event featuring Margaret Atwood and Fiona Shaw at the New York Public Library. During their conversation, Margaret Atwood slipped in a wry remark that one of her nonfiction books, Negotiating With the Dead, had been, “Cheerily re-titled ‘A Writer on Writing.‘” And as I go about this blog revamp, this small phrase plays over and over in my head: “Cheerily re-titled. Cheerily re-titled. Cheerily re-titled.”

And so, here I am. Cheerily re-titling myself as I make the transition from an old blog to this new blog.

So who am I now? What am I re-titling myself to?

My name is Caroliena Cabada, and my first name is a deliberate misspelling of South “Carolina.” (I say this to help people with pronunciation, but it’s also a true story. Ask me about it sometime.) I am an adult human being, living and working in New York City, and there is one thing I know to be true:

I am a writer.

And as I refresh my blog a few days before NaNoWriMo, I am becoming more comfortable with calling myself a writer. I still feel like a fraud sometimes, like there is something wrong with my taking on the label of “writer” when I’ve never had a paid writing gig, I’ve only been published once in a lit mag, and other, myriad and minute insecurities that stop me sometimes from really owning up to being a “writer.”

But whatever my hangups are, I am a writer. Even if I try to deceive myself into believing otherwise, I am a writer. Whenever the uncertainty pressures me to quit, I am a writer. And this stubborn belief that “I am a writer” sometimes feels like one of the few things that really keeps me going in life.

Thanks very much for stopping by this (re)introduction post. I’m looking forward to writing even more in the coming days.