It has occurred to me recently that my dream of becoming a writer might just be a phase. I know this is a horrible thing to think, but I’m thinking it nonetheless. I’m surprised in myself for even writing this, but I’ve always had a problem with honesty. That is, I’m far too honest, especially with myself.
I think back to a time when I truly dreamed of being a pro basketball player or an Olympic swimmer. Now, let me tell you I’m five-foot one on a good day, have never been a huge fan of exercise (although I have in the past enjoyed basketball, swimming, and skiing), and I cannot run to save my life. Seriously, in P.E. I would try my hardest to jog the entire way when we were forced to run 1.5 miles through the woods, but I was so slow that people would literally walk right past me. That’s how bad I am at running. I also had a phase when I was sure I wanted to be a mortician (ewww, what was I thinking?), and then was sure that my life’s mission was to be a scientist. Now dead things scare me more than anything – I almost never even kill insects if I can help it – and I have hated every science lab assignment I have ever had to complete in school. My point is, I was just as sure then as I am now. Although this was all before I started high school, and none of those desires lasted more than two years. Now I’m 20 years old and have been thinking about a career in writing for at least three years. And even before that, I always knew that I wanted to write a book, it had just never occurred to me that I could possibly make that into a career. I still don’t know that it’s possible, but I know that there are some people out there who manage it, so it’s not impossible.
I’ve also been listening to a lot of music lately (no, I’m not going off on a completely random tangent, in case you were wondering). I will be completely obsessed with a single song for about a week. I will listen to it ten times a day, every time I get a chance. Then I will not listen to music for a few days, and when I start again I will have a new favorite song and the previous one will seem borderline annoying to me. This also works with genres of music. I had my country music phase, my British Indie rock phase, my folk phase, my acoustic phase, now I’m back to rock.
So what if this is all just a phase? My “I want to be a writer” phase. Even if I’m somehow good enough, will I ever be able to commit to a genre, a plot, a character, an ending? How many times will I write the first five to twenty pages of what I think is going to be a brilliant book, only to let it completely fall from my radar. I’ve done it several times already. And I’m bound to do it again.
And what if it’s not just a phase? What if this is truly what I want to spend the rest of my life doing? And what if I fail? Maybe I have finally found my calling, but maybe I’ll never be successful. Maybe I won’t be able to make a living doing what I love. It happens every day to people. It’s not like kids grow up dreaming of being a janitor, or a waitress, or working in a deli (which is my current summer job, and I can’t help but wonder what the people I work with once dreamed of being). Why would I be so lucky, when so many people are not? But I suppose that question can apply to every little thing in life, and so far I have been pretty darn lucky.
I guess the only thing to do is wait and see. See if this is just another phase, and then wonder if I’ll ever actually commit to anything (I read something once that said people born on the date I was born on tend to have commitment issues, at the time I laughed because it was so true. Now I see, maybe that could apply to more than my complete lack of a love life). See if I truly have found what I want to spend my life doing, and then work my hardest to increase my chances of succeeding. But I know, that no matter what, I will keep writing. Whether it is as a hobby or a career, I will always keep writing. And I guess that’s all I really need to know for right now.