I can’t remember a time I haven’t wanted to be a writer. I have lots of hobbies, many things I like to do, but writing–writing has always been my passion. It didn’t matter what Mom would assign me in school–poems, stories, journal entries, current event reports–I enjoyed them. (Usually anyway!) I’ve carried my journal with me everywhere for as long as I can remember, to be able to write down ideas for stories, or little short poems, or a neat new word from the book I’m reading, or just to pass the time. . .
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. No–I have been a writer.
And for nearly as long, I’ve kept that mostly to myself. Oh yes, my family knows I aspire to be a ‘real’ writer; an author, someone who can earn a living through words. . . sentences. . . stories. . . someone who goes after their passion unequivocally and won’t let anyone tell them they can’t do it.
But, ah! there en lies the hardship. I know several young writers–I am one!–and people don’t tend to encourage this ‘frivolous pastime’ we want to pursue. I remember telling people that I wanted to be a writer years ago, and they would give me that sad smile, ‘dream now, write if you must, then go find a real job so you’ll be able to eat’.
I’m about to go into my senior year of High School now, staring straight into the gaping mouths of colleges sending me letter after letter, email after email, and I’m trying, whilst being bombarded by these messages about why I should go to this or that college, or pursue that or this profession, to remember and work toward what I really want to do.
I haven’t given up on my dream.
But I think, if I wouldn’t have had my extremely bookish family encouraging me, and if I hadn’t been given so much time in home school to do my own thing–doing my writing, mainly reading the books I wanted, as long as they were good ones (why do you think the classics are my favorites?)–by now, my dream might have been slowly squeezed out of me.
When I hear someone say they want to be a writer, I encourage them. It may not be practical. It certainly won’t be easy. You will probably be eating a lot of beans and rice. But go for it.
If you are a young writer, an aspiring author, or blogger, journalist or novelist or anything of that sort, I applaud you. Keep on writing! Don’t listen when people tell you that if you want to go into English, be a teacher and forget writing–you can do it. I believe in you.
And friends, if you know any young writers, then do encourage them. Please. If they are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams, don’t you think they deserve as much encouragement as they can get? Reality will tell them that it’s implausible; the world that it’s impossible; I say it’s plausible and very possible. Do it. Be an author. Be a blogger. Be a journalist, or a novelist. Be a writer. Do that thing you desperately want to.
Dare to follow your dream.