What Writing Means to Me (Part 2)

When I was in elementary school, it seemed like everyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. One time, in a conversation with friends, all the girls in my group said they wanted to be doctors or lawyers or teachers or moms. I remember being amazed they all had an answer, whereas I had never even considered the question.

I couldn't imagine the girls actually wanted to be the things they said they did. They hated school and all things school-related, so how could they want to do 10 more years of law or medical school beyond regular college, if they even went to college?

Whereas I, on the other hand, was the smart and capable and studious one in the group. I knew I could do school for a long, long time, and I knew I could make a career at something big and important in life, like law or medicine. Except I had zero interest in the sciences or being something like a big-shot scary lawyer. Hm.

So I started telling people I wanted to be the first woman president of the United States.

This is funny to me now, considering 1) I had no concept of politics, 2) if I did, I wouldn't have been interested, and 3) what could a 5th-grader possibly know about what it takes to run a country?

But, hey, why not shoot for the top, right?

I actually took this route because I didn't know writing could be a profession. Books were my life, and writing was my love -- just ask my family to tell you the stories, or maybe I'll tell you some later -- but it never crossed my mind that these could be a real part of my life in any real way beyond reading and my journal.

But then I discovered journalism just before I went to college, and I decided I was going to be the next Katie Couric. I was going to be an international correspondent, and I was going to be good. Chase all the "hard news" and stuff. All this, despite my never sitting down to read the newspaper on my own.

I think it had more to do with the smart-looking business suits and cute shoes than anything else, to be honest. But at least I was on the writing trail, and God wasn't done with me yet.

Stay tuned to hear what happened next . . .