When I knew I was a writer

This started out as a post about how I feel like a fraud sometimes because I’m a writer who doesn’t do enough writing, if that makes sense. I started writing this post a few days ago and couldn’t get past three sentences. Then today I found out about Positive Writer’s First Writing Contest via @DanaSitar. It was just what I needed. I needed to remember that moment when I knew I wanted to be a writer. In this post I talk about how I started with writing. I’ll talk about how I feel like a fraud in another post. ;)

How I started with writing

I discovered writing in sixth grade. One day my English teacher made us write an essay about a topic I can’t remember right now and she said she was going to pick columnists for the school paper based on the essay. The school paper was run by the high school kids and only a few grade school kids were picked as contributors. I don’t remember feeling anything special about writing before that. For me it was just another English essay we had to do, so it was a nice surprise when I got picked. Later that year, I won second place in an essay contest during civics and culture week. That was another surprise. It made me realize that maybe I had something.

I started writing a lot after that. Mostly on secret notebooks. I wrote poems, free verse, short prose. Nothing I ever showed to anyone. I am your typical introvert and writing gave me a way of expressing myself. I scribbled on secret notebooks and scraps of paper until the end of college where I got a degree in Psychology. When I started working I discovered blogging and I sort of abandoned the notebooks. I worked in a corporate office and blogged on the side.

More than seven years later I decided I wasn’t happy with human resource consulting anymore so I resigned. I dawdled for a few months, sent my resume to companies here and there, and experimented with small writing projects on oDesk. Later on I realized that I couldn’t imagine myself going back to corporate and that I was so comfortable with freelance writing even if it wasn’t paying me much at all. That’s when I made it official and announced to my family and my then-boyfriend-now-fiance that I was going to do the freelance thing full time.

Writing makes me feel like myself

When I made that decision, I felt a freedom that I never felt before. I felt relieved. I realized that writing was what I really wanted to do and I was just afraid of the uncertainty of it all. I was also concerned about my family worrying about me since I didn’t have a “real job” anymore. However, when I decided to go for what I want,  those worries went away. Of course, I still worry about stuff, but, you know, these days I worry about deadlines and writing. Writing is my real job now.

I don’t know if the moment I made that decision was the moment when I knew I was a writer but it was the moment when I realized there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. The freelance writer’s life isn’t easy, but there’s nothing else I would rather be.

Are you a writer? When did you know that you were one? 

Share your story in a post and post your link on Positive Writer to enter the writing contest. Let me know in the comments if you joined so that I can check out your post, too! ;)

The contest ends August 30th. Enter the writing contest here.

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