Thursday, June 28, 2012

When I grow up ...

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?  

I wanted to be a writer.  From about the time I was in 4th or 5th grade until sometime in high school, I wanted to be a writer.  That was it.  Creative writing, fiction.  I didn't care if I wrote the great American novel, I just wanted to write and see my writing published.

I won a writing award in 5th grade and a couple times during the middle school years.  Of all the various awards and trophies I got growing up for various activities (swimming, piano, etc.), the writing awards meant the most to me and I think they are still in a box with my grade school stuff.

But in high school I started going a different direction.  Freshman year I wrote a poem that I submitted for the county writing fair and didn't even make it past the school level.  For whatever long-forgotten reason, I never bothered entering again.  This was the time when music became much more all-encompassing of my life.  And so I started leaning in that direction.

In graduate school I had to do a master's thesis.  I clearly remember meeting with my thesis adviser and hearing her tell me that I was a great researcher but not much of a wordsmith.  Ouch!  And she was a prolific writer and very well-known, well-respected figure in her field.  Double ouch!

So after years and years of wanting to be a writer and yet pursuing music instead, I ended up a music librarian.  And I have no regrets.  I believe that God had a plan and He was in control the whole time.  I am where I am for a reason.

But several years ago I got into blogging, totally for fun.  And then last year I started writing for a new blog with a bunch of online friends.  I also have a few publications professionally, but those are mostly researched lists of things or statistics, very little narrative writing.  I still don't consider myself a writer.

And yet, last Friday I sat in a radio studio for an interview and heard my interviewer call me a Catholic writer.  

A Catholic writer?  Me?  Really?

It was an odd thing to hear after all these years.  Is that what I am now?  I don't think so, or um ... I didn't think so.  I read the blogs of  Catholic writers and follow them on Facebook and Twitter and put their books on my wish list hoping one day to find the time to actually read these wonderful wordsmiths.  Yet, I never considered myself to be a part of that group.

Okay, yes, I blog.  But does that make me a writer?  And yes, I write now for another collaborative blog, but I know I'm nowhere near the best writer of that group.  Even so, do these things make me a writer?  Or more specifically a Catholic writer?

I don't know.  I'm still pondering it.  I smile when I think of it, in a how ironic kind of way.  

It's funny how your life can turn out sometimes.  Something you wanted to do but never pursued could still end up being the thing you end up doing.  Maybe not in the way you thought you would do it, but you're still doing it.  And it can completely sneak up on you too!

Image source MorgueFile

8 comments:

  1. The label matters less than the "it". In other words, whether or not you call yourself a "writer", if you write and you are fed by doing so, then that's what you are. The skills of those other writers have nothing to do with who you are. That said, you decide whether to be called a writer or not, but I think you fit the bill ;)

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    1. Thanks for the thoughtful words, Becky! I like your take. :)

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  2. I enjoy your writing. You are Catholic, you write well on varied topics with a nice Catholic slant, sounds like a Catholic writer to me.

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate it!

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  3. Very enjoyable read. I feel that I have a similar though different path through life as well that still has not come full circle yet like yours appears to be doing.

    Immediate reaction would to reflect in this same way now on my own blog, but then I think maybe it will be more pertinent in another year. Thanks for providing thoughts to ponder.

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    1. One thing to remember too, is that all our varied experiences help make us the person we are. So even though you may have very divergent paths that you've taken through life, all together it is what makes you uniquely you. I hope your many interests and paths through life will lead to a great place one day. Not that you're not in a great place, but I know you are still looking for something more. <3 Thanks for your thoughts!

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  4. Your post made me smile as I followed your logic. Yes, you are a Catholic writer. And you touch people with what you have to say! That you took a circuitous path only means that it was meant to be all the more. To a fellow Sista, I salute those who follow their dreams no matter how they happen to get there.

    In a similar vein, I thought of myself as a teacher and artist my entire life. As a German native, I was all the more determined to master the English language. My university major began with art, then on to education, then to architecture and finally back to art. The creative things I do now (as well as my teaching) took very different paths than I had anticipated. Yet here I am, nonetheless: a fellow Catholic writer, homeschool teacher, and somewhat of a creator of many diverse projects. Here's to God's plan for each of us!

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    1. Amen, Birgit! Thanks, Sista! Love hearing how God's plan has worked in our people's lives. Thanks for sharing.

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