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