I have always written stories or poems, almost all my life. I didn’t realize that not everyone does this. Only recently did it dawn on me.
Does that mean my career calling should be to be a writer? I have been spending 37 years trying to figure out what I should be when I grow up.
Is writing the answer?
I made my first book a long, long time ago (but in this galaxy). It had a cohesive plot, but questionable spelling choices. You’ll have to excuse that fact–I had no editor, and was only in elementary school myself. It even had characters of varying ethnicities–one family was white, the other was black. That must have been the influence of 1970’s and 1980’s cartoons, which all had a token black character on the cast, because I didn’t even know any African-Americans at that age. The story wasn’t a school project or anything. I just made it all on my own, at home. I was very proud of it, because my mom put it in the scrapbook.
All through school, I would write stories every chance I could for class assignments. It made an assignment easy for me to complete. I would also write at home, just for myself. I would skip lunch during high school to write in the computer lab (much less chance of getting picked on or having food thrown at you). When I had a big depression my senior year, I became a prolific poet. I took lots of English classes as electives. I took the AP English class, but not the placement exam. I even took a one week summer writing workshop held at a local college.
One of my favorite teachers was my English teacher. We will call him Mr. C. He also happened to be the adviser for the newly formed school newspaper. I wrote a story or two for it. The next year, I ended up as the Co-Editor, which I actually really enjoyed. It was just kind of a happy accident that I ended up with that position (and because no one else wanted it). It helped to make my college applications not look so naked.
In college I was busy, but I still wrote. During that time, I wrote one of my favorite stories. It is kind of goth. I used poetry at that time to once again get me through depression. I was a Communications major, with an emphasis on Radio and TV Broadcasting. I filled in the gaps between classes for my major and prerequisites with English and Psychology classes. I took so many English classes that the head of the department told me to make it my minor. He let me do an independent study to work on some stories and get a 400-level class on my transcript. (That would be an unfinished story that wasn’t good, and I wish I wouldn’t have wasted time on it.) (I could have minored in Psychology as well, but I didn’t want to have to take a statistics class, which was required to have it be an actual official minor.)
My first full-time job, I found other creative-minded types. We read each other’s old stories. We wrote and emailed poems to each other throughout the day. They also were interested in dream interpretation, as I had been for years.
Really, the only time I can remember not writing was while my mom was sick. I spent one evening a week doing her grocery shopping for her, two nights doing her laundry, and usually taking her to a doctor’s appointment as well. And I worked 40hrs a week, plus a 2hr daily commute. She about killed me. I didn’t have time to write at that time. I didn’t even have time to think. Even though she got a clean bill of health a few years after she was diagnosed, I was still doing all those errands for her. I had to put an end to it when my son was born. Literally, like 10 minutes after I walked into my house from the hospital.
I went back to work after my maternity leave on the exact same day my company filed for bankruptcy. I also went back in a new position (my former lateral position that I had interviewed to get back into had been eliminated while I was off, so I was starting a new lateral position. Got all that?) where I got to work on one of the company’s blogs. It was fun. I found out a co-worker had a personal blog. This peaked my interest. Plus, I could read the writing on the wall. I knew I needed to add some new mad skills to my resume. So, I started this blog, got on Facebook and LinkedIn, and figured out how to actually use my Twitter account.
While hanging out at home with my son, I found more time to blog regularly than I would have anticipated having. Regularly publishing posts got me followers. Followers made me try to think up more content. This made me dig out an old story from high school, my only intent being to jazz it up a little, then post it on my blog.
That led to me deciding that I might be able to combine it with more short stories, and do one of those self-publishing dealios.
In 6 months time, that has led to me finishing 2 young-adult (short) novels, and starting a third in the trilogy, with plans for 2 bonus books.
My original goal is to have one self-published by year’s end. I am thinking the writing may be the easiest part of the equation. I don’t know anything about royalties or percentages or designing book covers, etc. And at first, well, I thought an e-book would be good enough to fulfill a dream.
But, well, a physical book with a cover with my name on it, filled with words spilled forth from my brain, is so tempting I can taste it. That was my first vision when I made that book out of crayons and pencil.
Trust me, when I get to that point, you will all know. imnotstalkingyou.com will be book-hawking central.
You know, I have also always had a love to art (drawing, painting, photography). Hmmm, maybe that is my real calling…