I've been giving a lot of thought to the question "why do you want to be a writer?" I am asked this question a lot usually preceded by things like "it's not going to make you any money." and "you can't possibly hope to make a living by writing!"
So, why am I so determined to be a writer? I've thought a lot about how and when I decided to be a writer and I've determined that it was my Senior year of High School when I realized that I could possibly make it as a writer.
I've always written. I mean, since I was old enough to know how to hold a crayon I was making up stories, first in pictures then in words when I learned them. I started writing poetry when I was in 3rd grade and short stories in 4th. I continued writing, mostly poetry, all through school up to my senior year when I took Senior level Creative Writing.
My creative writing teacher said I had talent, I won an award for my two short stories that I wrote that semester, so obviously other people thought I was talented. My poetry has won several awards, not to toot my own horn, so indeed there must be some shred of talent somewhere within this lowly creature which is me, but of course I couldn't really believe it.
But I didn't set out to be a writer. I got into college and declared my major in Special Education. That was an epic fail after my first year, so I decided to become an English teacher, maybe literature. In my first English class of the semester (a writing class) yet another teacher told me that I had talent. I still didn't really believe it of myself, but she convinced me to change my major to a Creative Writing emphasis.
I did it.
Then came the semester of disaster, where I was so sick throughout the semester that I flunked everything and racked up some incredibly impressive dollar amounts in medical bills. I ended up dropping out so I could work to pay off those debts and somewhere along the way I started writing just for the sheer enjoyment of writing and I found that I enjoyed it a lot more than writing for classes.
I made the decision to pay off my bills and enroll at another school that offered an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreting degree and license. Interpreting would give me the opportunity to make my own hours, choose my clients and jobs, make a decent amount of money, and leave me plenty of time for writing. It was perfect.
And so here we come back to the present. I am still paying off medical bills and other debts, considering filing for bankruptcy, and still hoping to go back to school, possibly while working at least part time (working full time and going to school was what started the whole mess of me being so sick, so I'm thinking a repeat would not be a good idea).
I stopped writing for a while because I was really depressed about my life and where I stood and everything just felt hopeless, but I'm back to writing at least a little every day. I want to succeed, and I know I can't succeed by sitting on my butt feeling sorry for myself.
Deciding to become a writer was a long and confusing process that I didn't even know was happening at times. I still sometimes wonder why I would ever want to be in this business, reading stories of trial and heartache and struggle on various blogs. But there are also stories of success and triumph that warm my heart and bolster my resolve. I want to do this. Not for money or fame (though those could be nice) but for the joy of writing thigns that touch people's lives and hearts.
A long way of getting to the point, but there it is.
I think that Adam was the one who wanted to hear my story of wanting to become a writer, so here it is Adam!
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