I am Writer

Even though I’ve been writing for fun since 5th grade, I’d say I didn’t really decide to pursue writing as my career until four years ago, in my second year of college. I’d started out as an elementary education major, which is funny now because the first thing people asked when I got my English degree was if I was going to teach. Uh, no. I switched majors because something was wrong. I loved the college, loved my friends, but something wasn’t clicking like it should have. I wasn’t happy and every day that I went to the elementary school for my volunteer hours deepened the sense of dread that was growing in my gut. I remember thinking that if this is how it’s going to be, I might as well quit school and go to work at another job I’ll hate that won’t require an expensive education.
So I switched to English, which felt like my only option without transferring. The next semester, I walked onto campus with a big pep in my step. I started volunteering at the library, I got hired on to work as a tutor at the Writing Center, I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society. I was happy. There were still challenges to hurtle, but I got through them and graduated in three and a half years.
Then I spent a year wandering listlessly through life, where at times the only thing that kept me from getting really depressed was my writing. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but sometimes this journey feels like it has just put me in a slingshot to get me from point a to point b, and I land on my rear with no real plan. It still makes me unsure of myself when people ask what I did for that year after I graduated. It still makes me unsure of myself when people ask me questions about where I’m at, where I’m going.
It’s hard to say “I’m a writer.” It’s hard to say “This is what I’m doing and I don’t need your approval.” But it’s one of those things each writer has to deal with on their own, I think. Often, the biggest challenge we face in this regard is our own families. Their approval and acceptance means more than we’re often willing to admit.
Making time for it has been a challenge over the last four months, but perhaps now more than ever I can say with pride “I am a writer.” When everything else is turning to shit, I know that I’ll be able to turn to pen and paper. If you have that assurance, then you are a writer, and don’t be afraid to tell anyone who asks and some that don’t.

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