I’m back in town, and back in business. Tasmania was beautiful, the seafood and cheese were fantastic (Tassie must be sad for vegans), the landscape was lovely, and the time “away from it all” was particularly divine.

There’s a certain amount of post-holiday anti-climax that happens to everyone after being away – even on a small scale. This is why Mondays are so rough for Monday-Friday workers. Returning to a very full inbox and feeling pretty overwhelmed, I turned to Big Emotional Music for solace.

For a while, this made it worse. Album of choice was The Avett Brothers’ “Emotionalism”, and I’d just started formulating a new rule about Not Listening to Music About Feels When You’re Already Buried In Them, when a different song came on and helped. The Avett Brothers’ “Head Full of Doubt”.

While most of the song isn’t the most cheerful thing ever, one particular line jumped out at me.

Decide what to be, and go be it.

This is the key, in a number of ways. There’s that adage that you are what you repeatedly do – your actions define you. I try to decide, in every action, that I’m honest, compassionate, creative, curious. I try to show up to my work. The “Head Full of Doubt” lyric is urging you to make a link between what you’d like, and your actual life. I love this line because it doesn’t put up with that nonsense of, “I’ll be one day” (I’ll be a writer when I graduate). Bullshit you will, go do it now.

It also occurred to me that writers are lucky in this sense. Other careers seem (at least to me) to involve deciding “what you’ll be”, and then not really having a lot of wiggle-room within that decision.

As writers, we get to decide what to be every time we sit down to write. The act of sitting down at your desk and writing speaks to that first thought about defining yourself through your actions, but I’m talking about something else. Every new piece of writing gives us another opportunity to “go be it”. I’m a fiction writer. I write poetry. I write memoir. I’m a songstress. I can be anything I want, because my job involves creating something from nothing. Being creative is an umbrella, and we get specific every time we practice.

Decide what to be, and go be it.

We are a lucky bunch.