I started writing stories when I was 10 years old–probably before that, actually, but that’s as early as I can remember. I did most of my growing up in a small town in East Texas where there wasn’t a whole lot to do, so my sister and I learned to use our imaginations early on. Mine seemed to always find its way to paper. I remember how excited I was once to use the $2 I had saved at the local five-and-dime store, Perry Bros., to buy whatever I wanted. The toy aisle in that store was amazing! But, I passed all of the cars, trucks, airplanes, spaceships, action figures, balls and gloves and bought a red spiral notebook and a package of pencils. I used that spiral for a long time and wrote a lot of stories in it. I kept it well into adulthood until it was lost during a move. That was 35 years ago. . .I’ve traded little spiral notebooks and pencils for a keyboard and monitor, but the tools are the only thing that has changed.
Last night I updated my work information on Facebook to indicate that I’d started working as a freelance writer and blogger–you know, I made it “Facebook official.” All kidding aside, though, the symbolism is important to me. I made public a decision which I came to privately some time ago and I did it because I know that putting it out into the world makes me responsible for it. (Does that make sense to anyone but me?)
A friend asked if I wasn’t teaching anymore. . .
I love teaching. I love my students. I love watching them learn and discover and grow. If I may be so bold. . .I’m a damn good teacher! I’m sure that teaching will always be a part of my life in some way, so don’t read this and assume I’m giving it up; but things are changing for me. I won’t take any time here to bemoan the state of education in our country–I’m not an expert and this is not the forum. What I will say is that there are things that I see which are of grave concern to me. Being a teacher doesn’t mean what it used to mean. I am resigning my current teaching position effective at the end of this school year. I don’t know what the future holds for me where teaching is concerned.
What does this all mean?
Sometimes we are forced to follow our dreams because we’ve tried everything else and there’s nothing left to try. That’s sorta where I am. I’ve been and done everything except the one thing that I’ve always wanted to be and do. There’s nothing left to do but that. I’ll get into this in more detail in a later post.
I’ll admit it–I’m scared. The difference between talking about dreams and actually following them is monumental. There is a vast ocean of uncertainty staring me in the face and I’m not crazy about swimming. (Great metaphor, right? See, I write good. 🙂 ) I know that this will be a slow process and that defining “success” as a writer is a tricky proposition. I don’t expect or desire fame. I don’t expect to get rich. But, I’ve been told that making a living doing the thing you love is the best feeling in the world. I will be happy with that. So, here I am. . .
I wanted to write then. I want to write now.
I am a writer.
Ciao for now!