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What do you want to be when you grow up?

A blog about Inspiration


Back, just before I consciously decided to take my writing seriously, I was working at a job I loved. While my manager was super smart, our interoffice relationship was awkward. After paycheck cutbacks sent many of my coworkers packing, the situation with my manager darkened. Stressed by the uncomfortable office atmosphere, and now, making less money, I decided it was time to move on.

Was it scary? YOU BET!

Thankfully, I had other financial support to back up this decision, but I didn't sit around. I got another job... a few of them. They included: Web design, pet sitting and bus trip organizing for a non-profit organization on the north shore. My schedule was erratic, and I had a lot of time to think. I asked myself that age-old question, the same one I'd often asked myself most of my adult life - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I had an answer. I've always had an answer. I wanted to WRITE. Never believing I could actually be taken seriously or make a living off of it, I had buried that dream away. But under piles of half-written stories and papers from years of writing classes, I found my passion and dusted it off.

Is it crazy to believe such a lofty goal can be attained? At first, maybe, but I took small bites. I understood the most important part of committing to this ambition was convincing myself it could happen. I had to be open for business.

I read a great deal of motivational materials. My favorite and most helpful book: "Write It Down, Make It Happen" by Henriette Anne Klauser. She instructs readers to write down a list of goals. I wrote carte blanch. Klauser says to include a few frivolous goals - mine was "Discover the secret of youth." Other less outrageous ones were:
  • Help secure my children's futures
  • That my writing gives me pleasure and many returns
  • Be philanthropic
The first exercise, however, was the most prolific: Write it as if it has already happened. I wrote:
A complete stranger offered me a writing job. While I worked on those projects, I finished my first book.
Truth is stranger than fiction my friend - After sending in a sample of my writing to a local paper, the editor (a stranger) called me to do freelance work. MY FIRST PAID WRITING GIG! Two months later, I was offered a full time writing position. Deciding against going full time, I continued with the freelance work. During the next year and a half, I wrote "Saving Toby."

I wrapped this up neatly in a few hundred words, but be assured, the road I've traveled over the last few years was not all sweetness and light. I kept at it despite setbacks. It is my belief that if you want something to happen, you have to set yourself up for it and allow it happen. It must be an ever conscious thought in your mind.

I leave you with this final quote:
Who are you not to be great?   - Nelson Mandela
Peace

Image: Rocks stacked on the beach — Stock Photo © Bezuglov Andrey #8584182

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