Many people are scared or nervous to tell people their dreams, because they think their dreams are "too big". What I'm writing about this week is more personal. It is a story about how I knew (from a very young age) that my calling in life was to be a writer.
It all began back when I was in middle school, seventh grade I would say. My little brother and I were climbing a tree in our backyard. Out of nowhere he asked me "Rachel, can you write me a story?" Growing up I hated writing. I hated it so much that I'd rather get my teeth pulled then write a summary for my book report (my mom can attest to this too). The fact that he just had asked me that question out of the blue really stunned me, and I kind of laughed it off. "Why?" I asked. He answered, "I want to hear a story about someone who lives in the trees. That would be cool!" I nodded off. My mom called us inside the house and I remember there was some voice in the back of my head telling me that I should do it. I asked my mom "Do you have any extra notebooks?" My mom was confused. "Yeah what for?" I answered, "I think I'm going to write a story." She was definitely confused because she knew how much I hated writing, but she found me a notebook and later that night I sat down in my living room with a hotel pen in hand writing my first story.
I oddly felt some sort of rush, and like I was chasing something. I didn't know where I was going with the idea of someone living in the trees, but it was a base that I needed to start something great. Fast forward a few weeks later, my brother and I are sitting at the computer playing games, specifically "Bejewled Blitz". As lame as the game may be, it inspired me to think of the greatest story I may ever tell.
In the game Bejewled Blitz, the theme of the game is fantasy. While playing the game there are fantasy backgrounds and magic, etc. While we were playing, there was a background of a river, and right on the edge was a glass castle, almost like crystal. We'd play the game over and over again just so I could look at that image, there was something about it that I couldn't stop thinking about. After playing the game a few more tries, I headed to the shower. I remember standing in that hot shower just thinking about that glass castle. Then all in an instant, I had it. The words that rolled off my tongue then and there changed the whole course of my life I believe, and that is "the crystal guardian".
There was a rush of excitement, I was giddy, and it was a feeling of joy that I had never had felt before. I truly believe that this was the feeling of the Holy Spirit, and God telling me that this is what I needed to do. The phrase "the crystal guardian" is something that I think about every day, even almost ten years ago with this happening, I still think about it. I went on to write, and re-write over and over. I even got the story "The Crystal Guardian" up to almost 150 pages, and then junked it. I then went on to writing in movie script formats, thus growing my interest in putting this idea on the silver screen. I even got the chance to job shadow out at Warner Brothers in Burbank, CA to network and get a feel for what it can be like working with the "big guys" out in Hollywood. From there I began to go back and forth between script writing, and novel writing. Though I have to pick one at some point, I know just writing in general every day is important, and practice for what my final product will be.
To be honest, I was embarrassed to come out as a writer, because I was scared of what people my think. Most people want to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer, or whatever. I wanted to do something different, because deep down (and I hope I don't sound TOO cocky) I always knew that I was different. That I was meant for something that is beyond what women usually do, let alone a small town girl from Wisconsin. I kept this as a secret for the longest time, but when I finally came out saying that I wanted to be a writer when I grow up I had never gotten so much support from my friends and family. Anywhere I go, most people know me from the Odyssey, and (in a way) I am considered some sort of minor local celebrity at home because I'm known as the "Hollywood big-shot writer" that is going to be famous one day (I was even voted 'most likely to be famous' by my high school).
Since coming out as a writer, I have not only been featured on the Odyssey, but have been an editor, and now President of the University of Wisconsin Branch Schools community, and been published in a newspaper, magazine, and many more things to come. I have not shared this story with many, so thank you for reading it all the way to the end. The last thing I want to leave is this: don't be afraid to tell people about your dreams/goals/passions. It will open doors that you never thought could be opened, and lead to a full and happy life.
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