Self-assuredness has never been my strong suit. Doubting myself has always been second nature and I feel as though that stems from a lack of identity in a way. My writing pieces have usually always been prompted by others. With the removal of a deadline or a definitive course, I was left to design my own set of guidelines. This demanded that I create a voice for myself and set a cohesive tone for the rest of my work. In theory, it seems relatively simple but in practice, you begin to realize that to establish yourself as a writer you must first establish yourself as an individual. I felt like the opening band at a show, the one nobody knows and no one came to see. But to overcome this feeling of obscurity, I had to continuously put myself on the line.
Similarly, I feel as though Nassun never really had an identity of her own. Through my perspective, Nassun was always defined by those around her. Her dependency on the adult figures in her life left her a bit undeveloped in my eyes. I related to her sense of insecurity, having to grow in the shadows of Essun’s past and in the wake of Uche’s legacy. Nassun was branded early on. She was given a role by those that exherted power over her. Her mother forced her to repress her orogeny, her father made her into his emotional caretaker and Schaffa had claimed her as his own. The earth needed Nassun, everyone needed Nassun. There was always someone that depended on her to progress. Yet she herself never truly got the chance to be independent. She is made of the desires of others, always headed to save someone other than herself.
As I find myself through my writing, Nassun finds herself through her orogeny. The growth of her powers and the absence of those dominant figures allows Nassun to branch out into an individually motivated goal by the end of The Stone Sky. Despite the lack of experiences, Nassun has, her role with others has allowed her to use their experiences like her own. In the same sense, we tend to take pieces of inspiration to develop ourselves into who we are. This sense of identity is no longer the same dependence Nassun originally had, but a reinvention to distinguish herself from the rest. And as the clock ticks down to the final minutes, I hope I have done the same.