I was talking to a good friend the other day about career choices and joking about going back to school to become a massage therapist. My reasoning was, "I'm good with my hands." No innuendo or suggestion meant. I was just throwing it out there. "Or, I could continue taking accounting classes and maybe become an accountant. I'm good with numbers." He, in his ever-supportive way just listened to me ramble. I even verbally contemplated being a professional organizer. "You ever watch HGTV's 'Organize It' and wonder what that professional organizer's house looks like? I bet it's a mess." He just chuckled and said, "You're probably right." After a comfortable silence, during which I imagined organizing my study and suddenly felt exhausted, he said, "But you're a writer. You've always been a writer. Why don't you write?"
Why don't I write? That's something I've always wondered. It's not like I don't have material or personal experience to write about. I think I've lived enough for a couple of good novels, or maybe even three. Heck, if I'm desperate for ideas, I just need to look at my family tree. We're a regular soap opera.
I don't know what I'm afraid of exactly. I guess there's always that ever-present fear of rejection or of failure. But how do I know unless I try? Insert additional cliches here. What if what I write sucks? What if I'm boring and pointless? What if the story never comes together? He replied with, "What if you're great? What if in two years, there's a book out there with your name as the author?"
Of course, I thought, That would be awesome. Just as he said, "Wouldn't that be awesome?"
Sometimes we ignore a calling because it's the easier thing to do. I've been ignoring mine for as long as I can remember. Don't ask me why, because I don't really know. But there's no ignoring it now. When time after time, friends and loved ones, people who know you, point out the obvious, it's time to stop ignoring it. No excuses exist except my own, and even I can't stand to listen to myself.
It's not like I haven't researched the subject either. I just haven't made the time to do it. The most common piece of advice from accomplished authors is, "Just write." So here I am, just writing.
"I feel like I should slip on some Nikes, " I tell my friend.
"If it'll help," he replies. Expectant pause. "Just do it."
So this is it.
I'm a writer.