I was three years old when I chose my career: “I’m gonna make books when I grow up, Mommy!”
By age six I’d been accused of plagiarism by a fellow first-grader (bogus charges, I tell you!). I authored my first adventure series as an eight-year-old: the riveting equine saga of mustang Black Thunder and his pinto cohort, Lightning.
Throughout childhood I gulped books like water and exhaled stories. I felt as if to stay my pen would stop my lungs from breathing. Never once in my first eighteen years did I doubt my calling as a writer.
When I made the journey from Vermont to Pennsylvania for my orientation weekend at Messiah College, I had a plan. I would major in English, hone my creative writing skills, and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. Easy-peasy.
The weekend included an advisory session with a faculty member of the English department—a stoic, bespectacled man I’d never met. He asked about my choice of major and plans for the future.
When I shared my aspirations of authorship, he smirked. “I’m sorry, but that’s unrealistic,” he said. “Novel writing is survival of the fittest. A very few great, and I mean really great writers make it as novelists, but for people like us it’s just a waste of time and effort. You need to prepare yourself for a feasible occupation. If you like to write, how about journalism?”
I tried to listen as he gave me the hard sell on a new career, but heard little over the sound of my heart ripping in two…
Read the rest of this post at The Silent Isle, cyber home of the lovely Anna Urquhart. “Had I But Known What I Knew from the Beginning” – a reflection on how we know what we’re made for, and what to do about it when someone tells us no.