When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Have you known it all your life or have you just recently found a passion (or two) that lights you on fire?
I have loved writing and words my whole life. My Mom told me when I saw my first book, I went crazy flailing my arms and staring at the pages. This is the story of how I knew I wanted to become a writer.
All through school, I struggled through math courses and in science where math came into play. I have a learning disability in math but I have always excelled at reading and writing. I absolutely loved English Composition class and would often get A’s on my papers.
I always had a problem with writing short stories. However, it was the only thing I was really good at. I dreamed of being a best selling author and all the perks that go with having lots of money. I also wanted to write book of poetry and song lyrics for famous people.
Oh, how naive I was to think it would be so easy. What can I say, I was nine years old when I officially made the decision this is what I wanted to do with my life.
I got my first real stab at writing in junior high school. My special ed teacher was able to make arrangements for me to intern at the local paper. I did research from old film strips for a few articles and also wrote a few of my own.
Also during this time, I wrote an article about my Dad’s charity motorcycle ride that was published in the Keystone Motorcycle Press-and I got paid! That was an exciting experience and helped keep my passion for writing alive.
Even though I didn’t get paid from the local paper, seeing my article with my name on it was awesome. When I moved from Pennslylvania to Illinois and started private school, I wrote on our very small school newsletter.
My College Years
I started college to pursue a degree in Journalism but never made it. Once again, the math classes were just too much to take. While I was there, I wrote for the school newspaper but wound up dropping out.
I was also writing for our local town newspaper as well. I wound up having to quit that also due to a conflicting school and work schedule which didn’t allow me to be able to cover stories anymore. From there, things were stagnant for quite awhile. The only thing I wrote for the longest time was poetry.
It has been a long road and I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet. I’m on my way though. I have published three books with another one in the works. I’m full of ideas for the two books after that.
I have also started freelance writing and have had a few wins there as well. I’m just thankful I’ve known my whole life what I really wanted to do. It just took me awhile to figure out how to get it started. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As writers, we are often seen as having this pie in the sky dream and ambition. We believe we can sell 1,000 copies of our book in the first year. We believe we can build a tribe of fanatical, dedicated readers. We believe that someday we will make the New York Times bestseller list.
And we can accomplish all these things. However, for some of us it hasn’t always been this way. For many of us, we have been dreaming of being a published author for years, but it took that one catalyst to get us to actually sit down and start.
I have wanted to be an author since I was nine years old. I grew up with a lot of naysayers on my Dad’s side of the family, but I pretty much let it go in one ear and out the other. As I got older, I had to figure out how I was going to do this.
Not so much write, but get published. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go the traditional route, but I also didn’t have money to pay a vanity publisher either. I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to have 100+ copies of my books that may or may not sell. So I kept writing and sat on it for awhile.
It wasn’t until January 1, 2014 that I saw this segment on CBS This Morning and it totally changed my life.
I made up my mind that day that in a year I would publish my first book. Like with most things, there was a learning curve, but a year and three months later I published my first book of poetry. Lithium Dreams And Melancholy Sunrise was published on March 21, 2015.
It was a proud and humbling moment for me to see my first book go out in the world. Still, I think ‘What if I never saw that story?…” Would I still have published a book eventually or would I still be sitting on my laurels and dreaming? I would like to think not, but who knows?
So, why did you start writing professionally? I would love to hear your stories in the comments.