Self: A Thought on What Defines Us
This Tuesday, something miraculous happened. I went back to school! Okay, maybe not really miraculous but it is still pretty exciting for me. Want to know the best part? I am starting from scratch. Since I was 18, I have entered into about 900 different “career paths” that I just knew I wanted. Slight exaggeration, it is more like 4 but you get the point. They were usually on the science side of things, which is cool. I love science, especially natural related things, i.e. geography, aerospace, oceanography, etc. I hopped from Engineering, to Business, to Biochem, to Business, and a hundred other ideas that never saw fruition.
All of this time I was simply trying to ‘identify’ who I am, and what I would do with my life. Also during this time, I did what I have always done. I wrote. I kept journals, wrote my own fiction, even dabbled in poetry. I did this to help alleviate stress because I loved to do it. You should see my old hard drive, it is filled with stuff from over 10 years’ worth of writing. Most of it is pretty… bad. Anyways, during this journey to discover myself, the one thing that I loved most was always overlooked. It had never occurred to me to pursue it. I just assumed people when to school for English because they wanted to be a teacher, which I have no desire to do. I would be a really, really bad teacher. You know the type, really intolerant, evil, sarcastic ones that you dread getting. Yes, that would be me.
It wasn’t until I got involved in a very close fiction site that I truly began to think just maybe there is more to this than I thought. I started writing for fictionpress.com, for different fandoms just to keep writing. What started as a hobby to occupy my time turned into a passion that occupied my thoughts. My stories started winning awards, I was started to get a little credit, and a little following. I began to feel like maybe this wasn’t just a hobby.
When I was contacted by a publisher back in December, my world kind of halted. At the time, I didn’t have anything really to submit, but he urged me to keep writing. He said my writing was “effortlessly marketable” and engaging. I was left speechless. I spent the next few months attempting to not let it consume me too much. I had a wedding to plan, work to do, a daughter to raise. There was no way I could add writing a novel onto my to-do list too. Sure, I still wrote the stories that I had been posting to various sites with little issue, but that was different. That wasn’t published work; that was simply having fun and unwinding from a long day.
What finally gave me the push to go back to school? In the end it was one person. A person on one of the sites I frequented told me,
You are a great writer… but it’s more than that. It is the ideas, the emotion, and the passion that you breathe into your stories that makes me a fan.
I was so touched, and so moved by her thoughts, as she herself was a writer I thoroughly enjoyed, that in that exact moment I knew I wanted to go back to school. No matter what happens, this person will remain in my heart. I owe the courage I now have to pursue my passion to her. Thank you, my friend.
Why go back to school then, if I already had a following? I know my weaknesses. I can write so fast that sometimes, I make errors. It is always hard to edit your own stuff. The reason is you know what you are trying to say, and many times you skim over errors because you brain is already filling in what that line is supposed to say. I wanted to change that weakness. If I truly wanted to pursue writing, then I was going to give my readers the best that I could do. That night I spoke with my fiancé, and he supported my decision fully.
After looking into the options I had, I settled on English Language and Literature. True, I could have gone straight for Creative Writing as I originally intended, but writing is not my only goal. I want to take my own experience and ability and help others to succeed in their dreams. I enjoy editing and critiquing just as much as I enjoy writing my own works. It is my belief that interactions with other writers helps make your own writing that much stronger. To me, there is nothing better than surrounding yourself with what your passionate about, as well as people who share that same passion.
That is why Tuesday was a miraculous day for me. It was a day that symbolized my step forward into defining not only who I am, but who I want to be.