When I was a little girl and all my friends wanted to be astronauts and policemen and firefighters, I wanted to be an author. All my life, I’ve dreamt of writing a best-selling novel or two or three and all my life, people have told me that that would never happen. And in all honesty, I’ve started to believe them. Writing a cohesive, 40000+ word story is daunting, to say the least. Writing a good one seems even farther out of reach. Writing a successful story seems impossible.
So why do I keep writing? Why did I choose a creative writing major? Why do I carry around a little green journal and fill my laptop with half-written outlines, scenes, and character sketches? Why do I do all this when I doubt my own ability to turn out something good and get it published?
While there are many reasons, I’ll start with this one. I love it. I love to write. There’s something deeply beautiful to me about crafting a story, building a world, stitching a life together. There are a lot of things out there that make me happy but creating an entire world in my head and putting it to paper gives me a joy that is deeply unique, unlike anything else in my life. There’s something that feels right about it but also new and exciting. So in the simplest sense, I write because it makes me happy.
Reason number two: writing is a skill and a marketable one at that. If I can steal a reader’s attention for a few pages, then I can write an analytical paper. My creative writing major is teaching me how to write, and after four years of education and who knows how many years of debt, I should hope it’s teaching me how to write well. So whether I’m sitting at my own desk composing my own stories or behind an office desk writing what I’m told to, I will be writing. So that’s my second reason, I write so I can become good at it. If the pen is a sword, I don’t see why I shouldn’t sharpen mine.
Yes, I was listening when you told me I would never become an author. Yes, I took it to heart. No, I’m not giving up. Everything I write feels like a little piece of my soul. And I’m not going to sell my soul on one manuscript sent to one publisher earning one rejection letter. I plan on being realistic, getting a stable job, building a life, everything everyone has been telling me to do since the first time I said I wanted to be an author. But I’m not going to stop trying. I’m going to keep writing until I turn out something good and someone somewhere publishes it. And if that never happens, well at least I’ll have failed doing something I love rather than having spent my life afraid to wrap my hand around that one thing I wanted.
So maybe you’ll see my name on the Bestsellers List one day. And maybe you won’t. But either way, I'm okay with that.