I have always wanted to be a writer. I take that back. I have always been a writer. I have always wanted to be a published writer. At the beginning of the school year, my mom would stock up on ten cent notebooks and stash them in a closet. I have vivid memories of writing for hours in these notebooks. About once a month I would pull out a fresh one and scribble some new title on the cover in permanent marker. Sometimes they would just be pages and pages of character names and personality traits. Other notebooks were filled with short stories based on my limited life experiences, mostly revolving around small town life as a child. When I was in middle school and supremely obsessed with romance novels, my notebooks were filled with tales of trysts. As confident as I was in my writing abilities, I was always embarrassed to share these notebooks with anyone. Because my mom was an organizer by nature, all of these notebooks likely ended up in a landfill. I would love to leaf through them and laugh at my feeble attempts at writing the great American novel, but that is sadly not an option.
My motivation for starting The Sound of Writing was my mother. She always had faith in my writing abilities, and probably read through some of said notebooks, but we have never really talked about my desire to actually be a writer. About a month ago she invited me to a book signing by a local author. The local author shared her experiences with the process of becoming published. As we were sitting there listening to her, my mom looked over at me and confided that she had always thought I would write a book.
We had also recently started a Thirsty Thursday dinner group with some close friends and family. At our first dinner, I joked about our group being similar to the Moose Lodge and commented that we needed a weekly newsletter. That was when I first started sharing my writing. Strangely enough, a few cocktails in, I was apparently funny and well received in my newsletter. My love affair with writing was rekindled.
I was thoroughly shocked this weekend when my mom shared with me that she thought I was in the wrong profession. The wrong profession?? I had followed in her footsteps and become a teacher. Although I absolutely adore my students and love every second of being in the classroom, I imagine my mom has sensed my frustration with the bureaucracy involved and realized that I am itching for a change. In my heart, I will always be a teacher. It is who I am. And although I am not confident about much in my life, I am confident that I am a good teacher. I know my kids in important ways and establish a fun-loving, family-like community quickly each year. My students know I love them. My mom and I teach at the same school and she is well aware of my reputation as a teacher and my passion for the profession. But what she meant was that she feels as if I need to pursue my original passion, writing. For my conservative mother to suggest I stray from a stable career that I enjoy was a firm push in the direction of jumping into writing.
I am not an adventurous person when it comes to decisions such as my career, so for me to even consider this option is frightening. I have a plan. This blog is just the beginning of it. Faith and hope will push me to prevail in this endeavor. Deep breathes.
Have you ever switched careers? Were you as terrified as I am?