On occasion I look at my kids and wonder what careers they might enjoy (looking for ideas maybe?).
I am already beginning to rehearse my pearl of wisdom when they ask me for guidance. “Find what you love and do it every day.” Simple yet sage advice, right? Except it’s damn near impossible to determine, let alone achieve!
You know what I love? I love writing. I love finding the words to express the way I’m feeling. I love telling a story. I love creating a world from scratch. I love research and data. I love finding a point of view.
I wrote hundreds of pages of stories, essays and projects through my school years. In the past three years I’ve written a business plan, a thesis on the benefits of yoga for fertility, and a screenplay (that sits in a drawer). These days I squeeze in time to write posts, jot down thoughts in my journal, and brainstorm ideas for novels.
Yet I never consider myself a writer.
Writing doesn’t pay the bills. Writing is hard. Writing takes time I don’t have. Writing requires discipline. Writing begs for talent.
I’m not great at this craft. Even if I could
start finish a novel, I could never get an agent. Even if I could get an agent, I’d never be able to sell it to a publisher. Even if it was published, no one would buy it. Even if I had a best seller I would have nothing to follow it up.
See, I even have stories to prevent myself from writing stories.
Of course there are those inspiring tales of raging success against the odds – JK Rowling being rejected twelve times, Stephanie Meyer having the idea for the Twilight trilogy in a single vision, or Suzanne Collins having to bite her nails for a few years after publishing until The Hunger Games really caught fire.
Never give up on your dreams — that’s the lesson these tales teach us. But what if you gave up on your dreams years ago? What if you already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education that instructed you to be someone else?
What if your dreams are delusional? Let’s be honest: the Paul Kinseys of the world don’t know they are the Paul Kinseys of the world.
What if this control freak is scared to be in an arena where success appears to be, at least in part, random?
What if I stopped taking life so seriously?
What if every day I woke up and just decided to write?
What if I stopped needing to make sense of every single thing I do?
They say that the first step to overcoming negative behavior is admission. I admit all of these truths and more. I admit I am powerless over the need to empty the contents of my brain, my thoughts, my often wild imagination, on paper. I admit I cannot stop, would not stop, even if it means no one other than Ian will ever be a fan of my work.
So here I stand before you, beautiful people of the interwebs, to admit I have a problem.
“Hello,” I begin, sheepishly.
[Beautiful people of the interwebs say ‘hello’ back]
Hello, my name is Carinn and I am a writer.