When I Grow Up…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I used to love this question as a kid! It seemed to hold endless possibilities! I could be a scientist or a doctor or a teacher or plenty of other things. All I had to do was dream…

For many years as a kid I thought I wanted to be a nurse or scientist or something along those lines because I was fascinated with science, but things changed…

Around maybe age 14 or 15, I realized that I really didn’t think I wanted to go into science after all. I really didn’t know anymore what I wanted to do until I picked up that French textbook my sophomore year of high school and the rest is history which you can read here!  🙂

The only trouble is that I’m “grown up” and still am not sure what to become exactly.

I was sitting the other day reading a book for class (when I was actually trying to be productive during spring break) when a thought struck me. The character in the book was talking about all of the ins and outs of trying to be a successful writer. Hmmm….

I was sitting there book in hand staring hard at my clock on the wall facing me contemplating this new idea. Could I see myself as a writer? Is that what I want to be when I grow up? This could take some doing for sure. Then, my next thought was:

If I were to become a writer, what in the world would I write about? Would I write stories with characters and plots? Would I write about social issues? Would I write textbooks?! (that might make some money)

Yes, saying you’re going to become a writer is not just that simple. Writing is not just simply picking up a pen and paper and just writing random things. The character in the book I was reading was imagining how ideal it would be if his first best-selling novel would just come to him out of the blue, and all he would have to struggle with was writing it all down before the thoughts left him.

No, writing–the good kind of writing–takes a lot of thought and work. There’s not only the ideas, but the words to choose to best convey those ideas in order that the reader can understand exactly what message you the writer want to get across. Then, there’s how you write it, what voice do you take? Are you the all knowing invisible narrator in the story of a plot? Or, are you the counselor speaking directly to the reader about an issue that you find important for their attention?

It’s not just a flippant thing to just decide one day “I’m going to be a writer”!

There’s not very many kindergarten kids who will give you that as their future occupation either. But, it’s an idea worth considering. What we read everyday effects us in one way or another. Yes, people don’t read like they used to, but they still read even if they’re just simply browsing the status updates of their friends on Facebook.

I enjoy writing despite how difficult it often is. Most of my writing of late has been in French and there are plenty of times in which I am staring at a blinking cursor not at all sure where to go or even start with this paper I’m writing. Yes, indeed there are times when it flows, but the last paper I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the progress and philosophy of the changes in Paris in the 19th century just would not come easily. I was nearly banging my head against the wall bemoaning the fact that I had chosen that particular aspect for a topic for the midterm. I did finally finish the paper with about 25 minutes to spare before class was going to start. Whew! Guess I’ll see in a couple of days what the prof thought of the result of that headache that became a paper.

It is remembering this experience that makes me stop and think a little more objectively about this idea of writing. Is that what my life would be?

Right, maybe I’ll just keep a blog to satisfy my writing cravings and teach kids how to properly say “Mon professeur de français est la meilleure!” for a living.

Though I think I’d always have a longing to dwell in the land of imagination and contemplation from which some of the greatest fiction of all time originates…

With that thought, I suppose I need to get busy reading those books in order to write all of those papers that are due next week. Guess my job right now is that of a writer whether I’ve actually chosen it as a profession yet or not.

Here’s to another week and plenty more cups of coffee to be had in the meantime…


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