How I Got Here

I am fortunate enough to know several amazing, aspiring writers. My friend and mentor, Karen, has her own blog and recently wrote a post about how she became a writer. (You should go read it. Go. Do it.) I thought it would be fun to share how I became a writer, too.

I have always loved the written word. It may have to do with the fact that both my parents are educators. My dad is a high school chemistry teacher, and my mom is a trained elementary teacher but stays home and teaches my younger siblings by homeschooling. When I was younger, we would go to the library every week and I would check out as many books as I could. I would devour them and then go back the next week for more. One of my favorite series was called “The Royal Diaries.” They told the stories of famous, royal women in history through entries they made in their “diaries.” For me, it was one of the best ways to learn history and I still remember things from then. (It was interesting in my European history classes this semester when the professor would bring up a certain historical woman and I would think, “I read her diary!”)

Inspired by those books, I would write my own journals, but I was never very good at keeping up with them. I would forget to write for months, or get bored with one of the journals and start another one. I probably have ten or so journal with the first five to ten pages filled in and the rest blank. It’s always funny to reread them and look back on my childhood.

I have always loved adventures and trying new things. This is 14- or 15-year-old me participating in a team building activity with my youth group.
I have always loved adventures and trying new things. This is 14- or 15-year-old me participating in a team building activity with my youth group.

Skip forward a few years and you’ll find me a junior in high school. It was about this time that I started thinking seriously about what I wanted to go to college for. I honestly had no clue what I wanted to do except travel. I wanted a job that would allow me to travel the world and meet new people. It so happened that I saw an ad online that read

“Get Paid to Travel.” I thought, “Heck yeah!” and clicked on the ad. It led me to the Matador Network  and their online journalism school. I was enthralled. They made my dreams seem possible for the first time and started the thought rolling around in my head of writing as a career choice. It was around this time that I won third place in a local writing contest. It was then that I realized that this could be a possibility.

The final thing that helped me make up my mind was a spiritual gifts test that we did in my youth group at church. We filled out a questionnaire, and based on that our youth leader would tell us what some of our spiritual gifts were. I got the usual, the ones I expected: music, leadership, and knowledge, all of which were traits that had been fostered in my through my involvement in church from a young age. But the last one on the list was what really caught my attention: writing. It was then that I knew I was going to be a writer. From there I started looking for colleges that offered majors in writing, and I am now attending my dream school studying writing.

This is not the path that I envisioned for myself. I thought I would be some kind of field scientist. But now I am perusing a career that I absolutely love and am loving every second of it.

That’s my story. What is yours? Comment below to share!