I only just started using the word “writer” to describe myself. It still feels weird to say it.
I’m a writer.
It feels weird to type it, too.
Last night, while talking on the phone with my husband, I was reminded of how much confidence I’ve lacked my whole life about my writing. The earliest memory I have regarding what I thought was an incapability began when I registered for my classes in seventh grade. I knew I was smart enough for honors classes, so I elected to take all the honors classes I could, except in one subject – English. I don’t know why, but the thought of honors English scared the crap out of me.
I will never forget that first day of class.
To start, I knew none of the kids in the class because, up until then, I’d only been in classes with other intelligent kids like myself. That was awkward. Then, to top it all of, when the teacher explained the rules and expectations, my jaw dropped. He said that part of our grade included appropriately placing our name and date in the top right corner of our papers. I suddenly felt really out of place.
He’s giving us points just for writing our name on our paper?
I knew right then and there I had to get out of there. I must have went to the guidance counselor’s office as soon as the next day because I never set foot in that classroom again. Needless to say, I felt much more comfortable in the honors English class.
Fast forward 2 years. Having the best English teacher ever, I wound up winning a local speech contest, which to me just felt like I was reading what I’d written. (I’m told I’m great at reading without sounding like I’m reading.) I was genuinely surprised that everyone gave me so much praise for it. I felt like it was no big deal, that I just completed the assignment.
A few more years go by and I enter my first year of college, where I discover in Comp I that maybe I do have a gift. I remember feeling shocked and dismayed by the quality of my peers essays. That was the first time I’d ever been asked to review a peer’s work and give them feedback. Our whole class was asked to group up and share our essays with each other and I suddenly saw what everyone else had seen in me – I am a natural writer.
All that time I just thought I was a good student who learned how to apply what she learned in class. I really had no idea. Reading my peers essays changed my perspective big time. My Comp teacher was disappointed that I’d chosen to peruse a career in finance instead of something related to writing.
I’d always been great with math and I always knew I was better than most. Plus, I loved calculating stuff, so I didn’t think anything of it when I choose to major in Finance. It was a no brainier.
But then, during my final years of college, I decided to take a course in Children’s Literature. I completed my assignments, emailed them to my instructor and anxiously awaited feedback. I remember being really nervous the first time I submitted an assignment because, again, my insecurities about my writing were making me feel like I would get a horrible review, such as, “You did this wrong and that wrong and that wrong.”
I came away from the course feeling more confident about my writing, but no more confident in my ability to use my writing to make a living. I guess as a little girl I picked up this idea that writers, artists, and musicians all had one thing in common: they were all broke!
I didn’t want to be broke!
Unfortunately, I finished my Finances degree broker than ever ($80,000 broker to be more precise) and since we were in the middle of an economic recession, I had a hard time finding employment.
And I thought getting an education in a high paying field would guarantee employment. Silly, me!
I ended up signing up for a certification program at a nearby college to specialize my education in the area of Personal Finance. (Actually, I wasn’t complete with my BS degree when the certification program started. There was a one month overlap. Holy cow, that month was the craziest month of my life for school!) Nine months later, I had a new, shiny certificate to brag about, but still wasn’t closer to landing employment.
Maybe it had something to do with my obviously pregnant belly. I don’t know. You tell me.
There I was, overly education and bursting with knowledge to share with the word and I didn’t have a place of employment to exercise my new expertise. That’s when I started thinking out of the box.
I’ll create a website for young adults about financial planning!
And I did, for about two years, actually. But then times got tough and I was too busy at my part-time job at a credit counseling agency to maintain the website, so I took it offline.
That was a very tough day for me. I loved writing content for my site and I loved the feedback I’d received from everyone who visited and commented. In hindsight, the break from it was beneficial.
During my time away from writing, I began a spiritual conversion that lead me to become a member of the Catholic Church. Those years of learning the faith of the Church allowed me to grow deeper than I could have ever imagined in my relationship with God. Now, when I want to take on new ventures, I first pray and consult with God about them and ask Him if my new venture will make the best use of the gifts He’s bestowed upon me.
No doubt, this newest blog venture is exactly where He wants me to be right now. Even if I never see the fruits of my labor, I’ll never regret writing about what I write about here on My Mommy Career or on any other blog as a guest blogger. Through my words, I can help someone else, and knowing that is enough for me to continue writing.
I’ve been a writer all my life (from journaling to blogging). Even if I stop blogging, I’ll still be a writer. Writing helps me put things in perspective and helps me analyze my thoughts. It helps me share with others my struggles and my triumphs. It’s how I communicate with friends and family. Writing is my gift from God and I know that as long as I’m writing, God is smiling.
I’m a writer!