here's a little story for you.
when I was little I wanted to be a writer. I mean at one point I wanted to be a gymnastics coach but I think that's just because I liked practicing with my sister and bossing her around. But anyway I wanted to be a writer. It all started with J.K. Rowling, really. I love that woman. I'm actually kind of sad I didn't come up with Harry Potter myself, but that's another story for another day.
so I wanted to be a writer and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I wrote all kinds of stories, set in all kinds of places, like Hogwarts because back then I didn't understand what copyright meant (I was young, sorry). I even finished one novel once when I was 12. I only ever showed my sister the stuff I wrote and she said she liked it but obviously I forced her to say that, so who really knows.
then some really bad stuff happened when I was 14 and I lost every last bit of confidence I had, which wasn't much in the first place. So I stopped writing.
in high school I stressed about the future way sooner than I should've. I didn't know what I could be now that I thought I'd never be good enough to be a writer. At one point I thought of studying psychology and becoming a therapist but then I realized I couldn't even deal with my own damn problems (and there were plenty, let me tell you) so really I had no time or patience for anyone else's (but that's not true because I think I'm a pretty decent listener).
then I joined the high school newspaper and decided I could be a journalist because I'd still be writing, which is my favorite thing to do ever ever ever, even though it was real stories, not stories I made up in my head. But it didn't matter because writing real stories was fine too. Also, I was deluded and thought being a journalist would be a more, you know, "stable" job than being a "novelist." Clearly I wasn't paying attention because the internet happened and now no one really cares about magazines and newspapers anymore. Oh and also the economy jumped off a bridge and all that. So getting a job as a journalist wouldn't be that easy or anything.
but whatever. I came to college and took my journalism classes and learned how to write better articles. Then this past summer I had an early quarter-life crisis (I say early because I'm not even a quarter of a century old yet) and it was just like, is this all I have to look forward to in my life?
and my dad whispered, "Novels. Your real passion was writing novels."
I was all like nah nah nah nah because nothing sounds scarier than trying to become a book writer, especially when you just don't think you're good enough (I always think my sister is so brave for following her dreams of becoming an artist or a yoga instructor or whatever she's up to these days. But then again she says she's a Jew-Buddhist so it's not like this is her last chance at life. So if she messes this one up real bad she'll have plenty of other incarnations to make up for it, right?).
but my dad kept insisting.
so I tried. And good God my stuff was so terrible. I got really discouraged.
but then Zoe said to me that just like anything I needed to get back into practice. Keep writing fiction. Keep trying.
and by some miracle I listened (I'm usually really stubborn, ask my boyfriend) and kept practicing even though I wrote some crap that almost made me cry, it was so bad. I even signed up for a fiction writing class this semester.
and I wrote and wrote and wrote every single day.
this week I even submitted a few short stories to writing contests. Which I won't win. Because unlike Alyssa I never win anything (obviously I secretly hate her). But hey.
anyway, I can sort of half get behind my writing now. I kind of like it, almost? I'm no Kurt Vonnegut, obviously. And I never will be.
but maybe there's something to following this crazy dream after all.
or at least I hope there is.