I haven’t always called myself a writer. Words and I: we’ve had a long-term, on-and-off relationship.

Granted, I’ve been making up stories since I was in the first grade, writing imaginative essays with plots like: a talking t-rex who descends from space to befriend a boy being bullied at school. I remember my teachers and other students complimenting my stories.

But I never remember saying, “I want to be an author when I grow up.”

After my high school experience, I was pretty positive I didn’t want anything to do with more education or a university degree. Then my senior year came and went, I knew I had to do something with my life even if I hadn’t the slightest clue where I wanted to be in the next 10 years. So I took the SAT, managed a scholarship thanks to a high GPA, and received my acceptance letter to a university in my hometown.

My major? Anthropology. I could’ve picked undecided, because that’s exactly what I was. But I’ve always had a fascination with studying people and cultures. So it became a toss up between psychology, cultural anthropology, or sociology. To this day, I still say I went for anthropology because I thought I wanted to be the next (female) Indiana Jones.

I was taking general studies courses for credits toward my four-year degree in anthropology when I signed up for an English composition class in my second semester. What began as a class of necessity turned into one I looked forward to attending, and the English majors I mingled with made me feel like I found my people.

After that, I knew creative writing was the track for me.

My final year as a creative writing major I had another choice to make: either complete a capstone experience course aimed at building my writing portfolio or undertake a writing and editing internship. I chose the latter, landed a gig at a local magazine publishing company for my last semester, and when I graduated I found out a position at the same company had opened up. I got an interview that went over well and I was fortunate to accept a position as assistant editor only a month after graduation.

I dabbled in writing flash fiction and poetry during my college years, so I knew that was the direction I wanted to take my storytelling. But I also knew I couldn’t sustain myself financially through that avenue as an emerging author. So I went with the flow and settled for a job that involved (nonfiction) writing, even if that meant I wasn’t part of the writing world in which I wanted to belong.

Without a doubt, every experience shapes you and my first writing job was no different.

But I’d be lying if I said the job didn’t stifle my creativity. All my effort went into creating content that really didn’t interest me. I came home mentally drained, exhausted, but that isn’t an excuse. The bottom line: I was writing but I wasn’t putting my writing at the forefront.

I had that epiphany after committing nearly two years of my life to a path I was never entirely committed to following. I mulled over the decision for a few months before I finally gave my notice.

It’s been a year since then. It’s taken all that time for me to kick my writer’s block to the curb and get back in the swing. For me, 2018 will always be the year that I put my mind to writing something: every. single. day.

Whether it’s sitting down at the keyboard or with my pen and paper, I make time to just sit with my thoughts each day. Eventually, the words come.

I have to say, this blog also serves as a healthy motivator for writing more and more often.

Do I produce a lot of “good” words by even my own standards day-to-day? Hell no. But that isn’t the point, this is: I’ve found my way back to writing words I’m passionate about again.

So, who knows, maybe you’ll find something meaningful in the words here too.

If anything else, even if you’ve heard them before, I hope you find meaning in these words: it’s never too late to start doing what you love, you always have a choice. Just. Do. It.

I’ll stop now and let Shia Labeouf take this over:

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10 thoughts on “Just Do It

  1. Your path is similar to so many of us. We leave high-school faced with uncertainty. The lucky ones have some sort of clue where they are going but most of us don’t. We are picking straws hoping to find answers.

    When I think about it, maybe the lucky ones aren’t so lucky. They’re not as curious nor are they as daring. Every straw that we pick carries a different clue and with that a different road to follow. I like that way of life and I like where the roads have taken me.

    Writers are a curious bunch. We are brave and stubborn and our eyes are wide open. We see the world in colors no one else can. That’s my kind of group.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writers are my kind of group, too! I’m glad you stopped by, Bryan.

      As for what you’ve said about the “lucky ones,” I’ve always wondered about those who follow five- or even ten-year plans for their futures. How does that really work out? To me, the best laid plans are adaptable to change because circumstances hardly ever play out exactly like we expect.

      I used to be envious of the “lucky ones” and their sense of direction, but it sounds like you’re onto something when you say maybe they aren’t so lucky. A plan and direction certainly aren’t bad things to have, but I’d agree it’s those who are willing to deviate who make the real discoveries. We learn more about ourselves and our abilities. Maybe we even see a little more of what life and the world has to offer, and I’d say that makes us the fortunate ones.

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      1. It seems like more and more people have multiple careers. Take me for example; I have a culinary arts degree, a journalism degree but the best job of all was when I decided to be a stay at home dad. I was a month shy of my 40th birthday and it was the perfect path to take. Crazy, huh.

        My grandfather worked 40-plus years in the steel mill. Sometimes I wonder if he wished he had done other things but back than it was more about surviving than dreaming.

        Thank you for following my new born blog. Baby steps. People like you are helping her walk.

        Huge thanks!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re a bit of a Renaissance man!

    I see a lot of people today are still in that mode of surviving instead of dreaming, which is hard to break out of when you know you have to support yourself (and for some a family too). I say never give up on following a dream but we do need at least one foot on the ground.

    And I was happy to follow your blog, I look forward to more good reads! Us writers would do better to stick together and genuinely support each other. So thanks for returning the gesture!

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  3. So true. We all support one another we’ll get there. I don’t know why I didn’t do this blogging thing years ago. I’ve met some amazing people. Lots of fun. One more thing: You are right. We do need one foot on the ground. Nothing wrong with following dreams as long as we can pay the rent. 🙂

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  4. Unlike you, I think I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer, or something else creative. Writing has been my passion for most of my life. btw, your childhood story about the T-rex from outer space sounds AWESOME and I would seriously have liked to have known you as a kid. Does the T-rex eat the bullies, or is that too predictable a way to end the story? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya Sarah, thanks for making it to the blog and leaving that super sweet comment! I would’ve liked to have known another creative mind like you as a kid 😊

      And most bullies deserve a good chomping! Instead I had the dino scare off the bullies, so they wouldn’t be a problem anymore, before he beamed back on his spaceship. He also left some alien communicator with the kid so they could always talk.

      I think a drive to create has always been with me, as evidenced with that T-Rex story, but I didn’t always know how or where I wanted to apply it. At times I wish I had gotten more serious about my writing sooner, like you’ve done, but it’s never too late right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it’s never too late to be a writer. 🙂 A lot of people make the mistake of thinking if they don’t start really young or get published really young their ship has sailed. My mom is in her 50’s and she’s going to be self-publishing her first book later this year.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It brightens my day to know these words meant something to you. I hope you keep finding inspiration where you can, there’s no reason to believe you can’t be the next Rowling or Tolkein 👍

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