More than 15 years ago, when I was graduating from college (yes, I’m dating myself here), I remember speaking with my Shakespeare professor who asked what my plans were after graduation. He asked if I was planning on going to graduate school to get my Master’s degree. I said no, because at the time, I had been in school for several years and was ready to get out into the world of work and start earning some money. My school loans had piled up and I was eager to start a “career” so that I could begin to pay off those loans. He then said something that has reverberated in my ears ever since. “I thought that the student who wrote one of the best Shakespeare papers I have read would go on to get her Master’s degree.”
I stood there stunned. As a student in his Shakespeare class, he had never hinted that’s how he felt about my paper. In fact, I remember not even getting an ‘A’ on it. I was flattered…no, floored would be the appropriate response. But it did not change my mind. My debts were pressing in upon me and I needed to get out into the “real world” and earn money to pay them off. So I did and what started then was a 15 year search for what I wanted as a “career.” I have been through numerous jobs in my fifteen years, more than I want to recall. It is embarrassing to admit this fact, but I’ve been facing a good dose of reality lately. (And by the way, those bills are still being paid off.)
Just recently, after a depressing day at work, I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked at the growing wrinkles around my eyes from too many stressful days and nights (and too many tears) and thought “What am I doing?!” It was then I realized that I would NEVER find a job or a career if I wasn’t doing what I LOVED to do and what I was passionate about: writing.
From the time I could write coherent sentences as a child, I wanted to be a writer. It’s a part of who I am and who I have always wanted to be. Yet, for years, I thought that I could not make a living at it, so I had to find a job to fill in the “meantime” and I could work on my writing on the side. This lead to years of unfulfilled promises to myself. My books were never finished and I moved from frustrating job to frustrating job never finding one place to land.
Recent events have led me to firmly believe in the notion of following your dreams or finding your passion. You are unique. You came to this earth with gifts and abilities that make you different from everyone else. Yes, everyone has several talents that they should build and use, but you know what I mean when I say that you have something inside of you that is meant to be discovered. For me, that is writing.
Though I may not be the next J.K. Rowling, I still have a unique and strong voice that has already been a positive part of people’s lives. From comments on this blog, in my email and in other places, I have heard repeatedly that something I wrote touched someone. So, I finally realized that maybe my experiences and insights were valuable enough that I should share them with a larger audience. I also would like to thank a fellow author (Virginia McCullough) for her wonderful comments that really were the key motivating factor in my decision.
So it’s with great pleasure that I announce here that I will be taking some of the best articles from this blog, other writings and some of my best poetry from over the years and compiling it into both a digital and print version of a book. I realize that mainly my friends and family will be interested in this and it will likely be self-published, but I feel it’s an important step to get me to where I need to go. I am also working on my novel and have a goal to have it finished and off to publishers this year! (Yes, exclamation points are needed on that one.) Whether it gets published or not remains to be seen, but having finished my novel alone will be a check on my “bucket list.”
Friends (for all who read my blogs are counted as my friends), you have something wonderful inside of you. If you listen carefully, you will hear that quiet inner voice which consistently pushes you in one direction. It is what you were meant to do. You have a destiny and it needs to fulfilled. It has taken me 15 years, but I have finally found mine and such relief that comes with this decision is indescribable. Friends, don’t wait as long as I did. Listen to that inner voice…find your destiny. Don’t be afraid of who you are…unveil your passion and go be who you were meant to be!