In first grade we had to decide what we wanted to be when we grew up. We had a career parade and dressed up as the occupation we picked. I was a crossing guard.
Now, as a junior in high school, that question has again become pertinent. However, I no longer want to be a crossing guard.
Now when I am asked what I want my profession to be I take a deep breath and say something like this:
I just want to write all day, everyday. I was to wake up in the morning, pet one of my twelve cats, drink a cup of coffee and sit down at a desk, still in my pjs. I want to disappear into a world that I’ve created with people I’ve thought up. I want to go on a magnificent adventure all from the comfort of my home. I want a regular workday to consist of battling dragons, sewing together plot holes, and coming up with clever one-liners. In other words, when I grow up I want to be an author.
But you can’t just say those things, apparently. Every time I have I’ve gotten “the look”.
The look that says “You know you are going to be living out of a cardboard box, right?” or “Sure, you say that…but you know you’ll never be successful enough to live off writing.” Or even “So you ARE crazy!”
Whatever they mean by it, when my friends give me this look I get a sick feeling in my stomach. There’s not a lot of support for wannabe writers out there.
So I’m taking a stand. In the past I had been self-conscious about saying I wanted to be a novelist. Well, I, not going to be anymore. I love writing. It’s something I’m passionate about. I want to wake up every morning and do something that fills my life with joy, even if I don’t make a lot of money doing it.
And not only am I going to be proud and vocal about my dreams and ambitions, I plan to achieve them. My goal is to get one of the stories I’ve written published before I graduate high school.
So give me “the look” all you want, but don’t expect to be in the acknowledgments of my novel.