When you’re a kid and you think about what it is you want to be when you grow up the answer seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? A fireman, a teacher, a mom, a doctor, or even a writer. It seems so easy at that point. You grow up, get old, maybe get married and have kids, and you become a famous (instert profession here) and never have to worry about anything again. And they all lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, what everyone fails to tell you is that the paths to such things are usually filled with disappointments, heartaches, hiccups, and times of utter confusion. Okay, so even if someone did tell our kindergarten selves about all the obstacles that come hand-in-hand with success we would most likely not even pay attention. Six-year-olds don’t care about deadlines and failures.
When I was little I don’t think I ever settled on one thing I wanted to be. I knew the general area in which I wanted to base my career, but ask me to pinpoint one specific job and you’d lose me completely. I knew I wanted to be creative. From the age of 2 I was doodling and illustrating stories. Granted, the stories were only something an A.D.D. afflicted bunny rabbit could barely follow but they were stories nonetheless. When I was in school I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING with art. First, I thought I would be an elementary school art teacher. Then I started drawing my own comics (superhero cat girls with powers based on science. Molly-Cule to the rescue!). While creating that I realized I loved designing their outlandish superhero costumes and then decided my fate lay in the fashion industry. As I grew older I took fashion design courses and created costumes for school productions (OTHER schools, mine didn’t have the funds for a yard of tulle) and even won some Skills USA-VICA contest ribbons for designs I had created. I wanted to be a designer, a painter, an illustrator, a teacher, a writer… Hell, I even got a tattoo gun and tried my hand at it. My brothers are real saints for being my guinea pigs. However, nothing ever stuck.
Except for writing.
Funny how something that always sort of hovered in the background of my talents is the one thing that perservered. I always excelled at reading and english. Back then it meant nothing to me. They were just things we HAD to learn in school. No biggie. Oh, and look! I grasped it really well! If only I could do the same in math, but that is another story. When I was at my worst point in life (we will not go into details) I found an escape in writing.
Now it wasn’t conventional writing as the world at large knew it. After my middle child was born, I was aimlessly surfing the web when I came across this Harry Potter website. Now I had read a couple of the books, and enjoyed them, so I gave it a closer look. I had never seen anything like it before. It wasn’t just some PR website to try and sell those books… it was a forum community of fans who created the entire world of Harry Potter in writing. Each topic was a location in the fantasy world J.K. Rowling bestowed on us. Each member was actually a character. Not the ones from the books but original creations made by people all over the world and they all came together to write a story with one another. Plots and character development and good and evil and all the delicious twisty turns of multiple stories soon flooded my senses. I was hooked.
I joined in on the experience, creating a couple of characters of my own, and, through that, actually met the man that would become my husband and best friend. We told thousands of stories together, which also fueled my desire to read the series fully. Once I was done with that (Can one ever truly be “done” with Harry Potter? I think not.) I found more stories to read. I sunk my teeth into more authors, more series, more, more, more. I was ravenous for the written word. And the more I read, the more fanfiction I wrote. The more original stories and characters I created to play within these worlds. Until, finally, I wanted to build a world of my own.
It has taken some years to get to that point but I think I, finally, have found what I am meant to do. I am meant to write. Whether good or bad I am meant to tell my stories and entertain people. Perhaps find that person dealing with hard times in their life and breathe something great into their minds as had happened to me. I have no delusions. I have a fear of rejection that makes it hard to really put myself, and my work, out there. Traditional publishing may never be an option for me but that is ok. I don’t write to be rich. I write because the stories in my head have to find an outlet somewhere and if someone out there enjoys my stories then it has done exactly what it was meant to do. Everything else would be just icing on the cake.