I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. I know I want to be a novelist, but I don’t know how exactly I know that. I’ve been writing like crazy since… um, forever (or, since I learned to write). But I only really decided to be a novelist 2 or 3 years ago. When I was really little I wanted to be a pro basketball player, then I wanted to be president, then I wanted to work in a morgue or be a crime scene investigator. Through middle school I wanted to be a scientist and find a cure for diseases. But that fell apart when I realized 2 things: 1.) I was really no good at science and 2.) I was suddenly squeamish. And I say suddenly because in 8th grade I went on a science field trip and got to see a human cadaver up close, and I thought it was awesome. I thought dead things were awesome. Then that summer my dog of 16 years (longer than my whole life at the time) died and I never wanted to see another dead or dying creature for as long as I lived.
After that we did dissections in biology and that made me really hate science. So I turned my focus to liberal arts. I tried art, I wanted to like history, and politics really did interest me but I was too shy to argue for my opinion. I did explore veterinary medicine for my senior project because I love animals maybe even more than I love writing, but I always knew that I could never be strong enough to deal with dying animals, and I could really never euthanize an animal. That left English. I didn’t even realize how much I loved English until I ran out of other options. Then I remembered that I had loved every English class I’d ever taken, I’d always turned to books or writing when I needed to de-stress, and it was something that I was actually good at. Upon this realization I decided that what I really wanted to be was a journalist. Again, my shy personality took that out of the running and I’d suddenly started looking at books differently. When I thought about writing a book it just seemed so right, it seemed to fit me perfectly: I’m good at writing, I love writing, I narrate things in my head as they happen (odd, but true). Suddenly I knew my life’s purpose, I knew what I wanted to study, I knew what I wanted to do until I die, and I knew it was something that would make me happy forever.
Now I’m positive that I want to be a novelist (That’s not my realization). But I have realized that I can do that and more. I love writing, but it’s not the only thing I love. I’m still interested in politics and animals and so much more. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been bored and wanting a change lately. I think I’ve finally decided what to do about it. I’m going to add two minors to my English Major: a minor in Pre-Law and a minor in Film Studies. If I love law, I can pursue law school; if I love film I can pursue that. There’s no commitment, and no matter what I chose I can keep writing all the time.
I also came to another conclusion: I’m not ready to write a book right now. I don’t have all the skills I need, and I also don’t have enough life experience. I was trying to rush myself into writing a complete book as fast as I could because I thought that would prove that I really loved it and could make a life out of it. My mom’s been bugging me lately about finding a career path that I could actually make money on. I thought choosing a backup plan meant giving up on my dream. But now I realize that having a backup is not only the responsible thing to do, but it also shows that I’m not ever going to give up on my dream of being a novelist. Because I know that even if I’m never able to make enough money to live on from writing, I will keep writing because I love it.