I can’t remember how exactly I met Stephany, but I’m pretty sure it was through twitter. We share a pretty big passion, and I can completely identify with the post she’s sharing with us today.
I have always known that I loved to write.
It was obvious. My free time was spent reading as much as I could and filling up notebooks with story ideas and characters. My favorite class in school was English and I geeked out over grammar. The one career path that I wanted to take was to be an author. I wanted my own series of books, spines decorated with my name. I wanted my job to be creating stories to help people escape the real world.
But then life stepped in and got in my way. I started to realize my writing wasn’t as good as I first thought. The path to becoming a published author looked harder than it seemed when I was just a 12-year-old with a big dream. Doubts and fears grew taller in my head than my desire to do what I loved.
So I put my dream aside. I decided I would become an elementary school teacher. It seemed like a logical choice. My mom was a teacher. I liked kids enough and teaching seemed fun. Plus, holidays and summers off! The problem was, my heart wasn’t into teaching. While the classes were fine, the student teaching experiences filled me with dread and panic attacks every morning. I hated everything about teaching.
I changed my major to journalism, where I could cultivate my passion for writing in a different way. Again, I was making another logical choice, telling myself that a journalism degree would help me find a job better than an English degree – even though English was where my heart was. And my two years of journalism school went well. I wrote papers. Learned a lot. And left school armed with my degree.
A few months after graduating, I was offered a marketing position for a direct mailing company. I was eager to leave my part-time job and joining the working world so I snatched up the opportunity and got to work learning all I could about marketing. This job has been good to me. The work is steady, albeit a bit boring and soul-sucking. I have great co-workers and a safety net.
But I’m still sitting on my dream.
I’m still letting opportunities pass me by.
I’m still locked up in all the doubts and fears that my writing isn’t good enough and I don’t have what it takes to handle negative feedback.
I understand what my passion is. I have a firm grip on how hard being a full-time writer can be and what sacrifices I might have to make along the way. I understand all of this.
Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. It’s time to cultivate. It’s time to grow. It’s time to stop letting fear and doubt limit what I can do. I am a writer to the bones of my body. Writing is what makes me me. I am lost when I don’t have a place to create. And yes, throughout this journey I will have negative feedback, criticisms, and many people telling me “no.” That’s a given. But there will be a “yes.” And maybe there will be another “yes.” And maybe there will be positive feedback and praise for my writing.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I am holding onto the maybe. The maybe is what keeps me driving, keeps me focused. I know I have what it takes to discover my dream. Bring on the critics. I’ll be ready for you.