When I was a little girl, I remember riding in the car with my daddy and him asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. You know, that question that adults love to ask kids and kids dread answering. There’s really no good answer to this question – if the child says something far-flung, the adult will most likely drag her back to reality. If she says something practical, her reply is usually met with something about not being afraid to dream.
But on that day, I was honest. I told him that I wanted to be a writer.
He didn’t make fun of that dream, or tell me to put it on the back-burner. He just said that if that’s what I wanted to do, I needed to study it and work at it.
But time passed, and when I went to college, I decided to take the practical path and study teaching secondary school English. Teaching is an extremely noble profession. I have many, many friends who are teachers, and what they do is no less than inspiring. But as I continued through my coursework, I began to realize that it might not be the best fit for me.
So, I did the sensible thing – I got an office job.
And, I was good at it. I enjoy organizing, managing, and directing, and eventually I landed in a job that used all of those talents. And, truthfully, I loved it.
But I loved books and words more.
So here I am, some thirty years or so after that conversation with my dad, and I’m just starting to see what it might look like for me to be a writer. I’ve been taking an online course with Jennifer Trafton for the past five weeks, and although some parts of it are far outside my comfort zone, I have loved it. It has made me work at writing in a way that I haven’t in years. It’s made me evaluate some areas where I need to work.
Am I a writer? Part of me still says that real writers have published books, which I have not. Blogger? Yes. Magazine writer? Yes. Writer? I’ll keep working on trying to say that, and maybe some day I’ll get there.