I don’t know where this came from, but the other day, I thought about all the different dreams and ambitions I’ve had over the course of my 27 years. Not counting those childhood dreams of being a ballerina, I think my first true goal in life came from my fascination with weather. At 8 years old, I distinctly remember wanting to be a meteorologist.
Funny, I know. How many eight-year-old kids have even heard of the word? Well, I was a bookish sort of kid (what a surprise, ) and I wanted to know what you did if you grew up and studied weather. I believe it was my parents who told me and of course I devoured any book on weather. I even remember writing a picture book about it for a school project.
That dream lasted a few years until I realized I wasn’t quite the science type. I think around age 10 or 11 came my interest in history and in writing–both about the same time. I distinctly remember it was my obsession with the American Girl series and loving all the history that was packed into those 70 or 80 page books. Plus, my dad had always been a history and genealogy nut, so some of that rubbed off on me.
I wrote my first “novel” at age 12 about a girl in the 1840s who crossed the ocean with her family to settle in America. It was about 170 pages–front and back, mostly handwritten. The kids in school thought I was crazy for writing that much. I’m not sure I’ve met many sixth graders who have done that myself, so I probably was a little odd
Throughout junior high and high school, I would write. I never got past the first three chapters of anything until recently. Of course my love of history deepened and I became obsessed with watching documentaries–I still am that way–and part of me wanted to go to school for archeology. I still dream about that sometimes, going on a dig somewhere, brushing off centuries worth of dirt from a chipped piece of pottery.
But honestly, I think the desire to write has always been there, even when I was just learning how. I love to tell a story–my first one my mom transcribed because I just couldn’t spell yet–and that’s still a part of me. I’ve still got a lot of “growing up” to do, though, in regards to writing. But I think writers always do; we’re always learning, always improving, always maturing in our work.
So, have you always had that desire to write? Were there other ambitions and passions you’ve had that are still a part of you now?