When I was little, I always enjoyed writing. I can remember creating a newspaper that centered around the crayfishes in my fourth-grade classroom. Obviously, there was only one paper in syndication because only I wrote it and only I read it. A couple years later, my love for essay writing is developed well into the closing days of my eighth grade year in middle school. However, this craze was later suppressed due my focus on pursuing the sciences in high school and aspiring (not really because I only wanted to to do it for the money) to work in the medical field. This suppression would only last for almost my entire high school career until I became fixated on improving on my writing in my 12th-grade AP British literature class. It was there that my love of writing underwent a resurgence. My love of writing even became more obvious when I took an college English course at University and wrote several essays including one related to Kafka’s work the Metamorphosis (A book I highly recommend to anyone). And it was the year after that I decided to pursue writing.
Now many people have supported me on my mission to become a writer while I have also had my share of detractors or doubters. But I guess that is the beauty of pursuing your dreams isn’t it?
In his book, “No Is a Four Letter Word,” pro-wrestler Chris Jericho narrates that as a kid growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, he wanted to be a pro-wrestler and a rock star. Like anyone else pursuing a goal, he had his supporters and he had his detractors. And for this detractors, he had this brilliant quote that I am now trying to live by:
“You see, I NEVER thought I was too small or not talented enough to do what I wanted to do, and I didn’t appreciate anybody who felt differently. The way I saw it, you were either with me or against me in my quest for fire, and if you were against me, well, you were a muttonhead and I really didn’t have any use for you anyway.”
Jericho mentions that many people doubted that he would be successful as a pro-wrestler due to his short height and average stature. However, about two decades later, the man becomes the first ever undisputed WWE World Heavyweight champion and from there on, has a stellar career in pro-wrestling. In addition, he also cultivated a stellar career as a rock n’ roll musician. How many people could say that? Apparently, Chris Jericho can and it was because he believed in himself. The dude followed his goals.
I feel that is where I am at in the beginning of the third decade in my life. My twenties were a decade of exploring the different avenues I could go into but would very likely have some to no success. Although deep down, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, I have tried my hand at several careers at the urging of others.
Medical field? As I have mentioned before, I have heard that the money was good but, due to my somewhat lack of patience…the poor patient would have a sense of bad bedside manner and report me to the medical board. Goodbye medical license; it was nice knowing ya. School teacher? Going back to the lack of patience…the kids in my class would be so thrilled to have a substitute teacher. I like kids but…not in the classroom. Accountancy? Well…I’m okay with crunching some numbers but who wants to be counting money all day? Besides, I did have a civil service finance job that only lasted a year when I thought it could have lasted me more than two. Yeaaaaaah. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? Computer program? Boring. Though coding seems to be integrating in most fields. So, I guess it could be useful. But as a career? I couldn’t handle spending hours on end staring at a computer screen doing nothing but endlessly putting in code after code. ‘(No shade on computer programmers of course.)
I want to go into writing because I feel that it is what I can do. It is a gift. It is a hobby. It is a way of escape. It is my superpower.
After going through several careers (or learning about them) during my twenties, I ultimately decided to settle on being a writer. If I did not have a desire for those things have mentioned then, there was no way I was going to have a desire for those things now.
Now, if you were to ask me the billion dollar question , “why become a writer?” I would tell you: “that’s a good question…”
Well along with the things I have mentioned in the first paragraph, I was inspired to become a writer after watching the Christopher Reeve Superman movies as a kid. Sure I wanted to be Superman but, I also wanted to be Clark Kent. As a kid, I desired a pair of glasses and wore some toy red rimmed glasses emulating the mild mannered reporter. I pictured having my name on a byline and in the second year at college, it eventually it happened at my college newspaper. It was a huge accomplishment. However, I had hit some rough patches during the year 2008 which I would prefer not to mention. All I can say is that it affected my aspirations as a writer and that was when more detractors came. As I heard their voices, the seeds of doubt grew into my nogin and that was when I began to go aimlessly from career to career after college graduation. It wasn’t until post civil service finance job that I really did want to pursue writing. Why else was I not thriving in those other careers?
I need to believe in myself that I can pursue this ancient yet awesome and adventurous field. I may not be in the ranks of Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Erest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin or F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I know that if I at least dream about my goals as a writer and pursuing them, I know that I will succeed. And I know that I can go to sleep knowing that I made the decision to pursue my dream as a writer.