Today I had the opportunity to speak to a class in my hometown and as cheesy as it sounds, I think I learned just as much as these kids.
It was a grade 4/5 class, they've been studying media and working on their writing skills. The teacher wanted me to come speak to the class about I've done with writing, what jobs I could go into, and how I decided on writing. And I never really thought about how I got to this point but it's always been building up to this.
I told them about how when I was their age I would create my own magazines. All I did was fold up computer paper but that was my issue, complete with a letter from the editor and a comic strip. And then I would write stories, all about unicorns and mermaids, and create my own superheroes. In high school I was on the school paper and dabbled in the yearbook, and then I was at university for English Language & Literature. It was there I wrote a book, just an anthology, and started to focus more on the idea of becoming a writer than a teacher. Some days, such as today, I think about how much I would have loved teaching. It was such a great group of kids, they all hung on every word I said and asked amazing questions and they're sending me a project and any other questions they have; that's when I consider that teaching would have been a good choice but I love where I am.
It never clicked that I'm extremely lucky to be able to do exactly what I love and be well on my way to having a career out of it. A lot of people don't get that chance, for whatever reason, and I'm so happy I'm not one of them. Sure school gets stressful, but I've never had so much stress that I second-guessed what I was doing.
Maybe it's just me but calling myself a writer feels strange. I keep wanting to say 'aspiring writer,' but no, I've been published in newspapers, books, websites, magazines and now I have a blog. So I guess a writer I am (a little Yoda influence at this point). And it's times like this when I'm so thankful I came from a small town. Going into that class and having the chance of maybe inspiring a student? I can't even put into words how good that feels.
I never want to get over this feeling of loving what I do, I'm in it for the long haul.