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: