Becoming a writer was never the plan. It never is. When I was young(er), words seem to flow from my heart and splash all over the pages of my notebook. I remember writing poems on the back of receipts and toss them without thinking how much they would matter later on. But, becoming a writer was never the plan.
Our dreams are always put on the backburner because they don’t put money in the bank which, in turn, doesn’t put food in our stomach. Instead, we build concrete dreams; ones where we live in big mansions, drive expensive cars and show our relatives that we are better than them.
I too, like every ‘sane’ person, took to concrete dreams and set aside the one of pursuing paleontology to become an engineer, the stable choice. Got good grades (not excellent, as my parents had hoped), graduated, and waited for some big company to hire my still dreamy self. Seven months later, I landed a job in one of the Fortune 500s.
My job was not very exciting, nor was it difficult. Copy this, paste that, and boom! You were done. Despite the easy job, sufficient salary, and great friends, I always felt my heart was waiting to burst. Only then, I didn’t know why. A few months into the job, I volunteered to write for the account newsletter. And that’s when my heart began to ease up. At first, the words were hesitant but cooperative. We needed time to get to know each other. You see, it had been a long time. As the writing became regular, we started falling in love. To keep the momentum going, I started a blog and wrote whatever, whenever I could.
Two years later, while still working for the organization, I took up a second job as a freelance writer. I didn’t need the money. I simply wanted to see if I could write professionally. I would come home from a 9-hour shift, relax for a bit, and get working on my writing assignments. It was a struggle to maintain this schedule. But, the long hours and late nights weren’t going to tire me out. I was determined to make it work.
The words finally consumed me. I could no longer work as a regular Jane and box my dreams to open them, for viewing only, on a rainy day. The freelancing money wasn’t even an eighth of what I was earning full-time but I let my heart do the talking. I packed my desk and bid adieu to the organization to which I dedicated 5 years of my time.
Today, I am a freelance writer who loves every bit of the work she gets. The pay is and, unless I become a millionaire doing it, will always be questionable. What keeps me going are the words. We found each other after a long time and are not willing to be separated once again.
Thank you for the lovely entries. Read the selected ones here. Winners will be announced on Jan 12.
Stay tuned for more contests and writing prompts.