Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fact: I Wanted to be an Author

I really, really did. It was my big aspiration. I loved English. I thought I had what it took. I read every waking second. I did what I could to find out what I should do. Then I discovered I was wrong.

I've been thinking about this a lot during the past couple weeks, and I really wanted to write it down. So I figured I may as well make a post out of it (seeing as I owe you guys a good month or so of blogging). Since I'm not really sure what to say and in what order, I'm just follow each sentence of the caption. Here goes...

I really, really did.
Yes. You read it right. Did. Past tense. No longer. 

It was my big aspiration. 
My plan was to go to college and become a teacher. (Or a librarian. Librarian-ing was also in my thoughts.) But I would write on the side and eventually become a published author.* I had this part all planned out. Some girls have their weddings planned out, from the man to the cake to the dress to their future children. But me? I had my career figured out. 

I loved English.
Although this is in past tense, I still do. I definitely love it more now than I used to. Anyway. It seemed like one more reason to become an author. Now that I think about it, it really wasn't the greatest one. 

I thought I had what it took.
You know how I said I had it all figured out? Well I wouldn't have admitted this, but I knew I would get a book published. Knew it. The whole teacher/librarian thing was just a cover up. That's how dead set on the whole thing I was. I had no doubt that I would make it. 

I read every waking second. 
Good thing read can function correctly in past and present tense. I'm actually pretty sure I read more now than I used to....

I did what I could to find out what I should do.
In other words, I searched authors' websites for tips on writing. I still do this, actually. Partly to write better (even if I don't want to make it a career, it's still a good skill), but more to see what they say. Authors have good advice and clever ways of presenting it. Take, for instance, John Scalzi's 10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing. Or this page from John Green's FAQs.** Or Maureen Johnson's advice on How to Write a Book. Or FAQs from Meg Cabot. Or (last one) Justine Larbalestier's How to Write a Novel. Just to name a few of my personal favorites. 

Then I discovered I was wrong.
I realized that I didn't actually want to be an author. I just thought I did. (That, or I unconsciously changed my mind... I'm gunning for the first one.) You probably noticed that nowhere did it say, "I wrote every chance I got," or, "Writing was my favorite thing," or, "Nothing made me happier than when I was writing." Yeah. That's because none of those are true. I did write. But not as much as I would have had I actually wanted to be an author. The day I realized I didn't want to be an author was the day I realized that I'm not a writer. I'm a reader. 

*Cliche much?
**Okay, so it's not actually advice. It's more people asking him questions on how he writes. But it's still good.

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