Monday, June 16, 2008

The road not taken

I have often talked about the fact that I enjoy writing and pursue this interest as often as my schedule allows. That usually means I spend 15 minutes here and there throughout the day writing in my journal or on my blog. I also started writing in a journal specifically for Sophia (Trey helped her pick it out for me for Mother’s Day). My current writing is meant to capture and chronicle my life experiences, but I have also wondered if I would ever be interested in writing magazine articles, short stories, or the culmination of a writer’s career – A NOVEL. (Imagine fireworks exploding and the sound of a marching band here to get the full effect those words). Although I have no intention of changing careers at this point of my life, I can see a future where I may want to write as a regular hobby/ part-time job /time filler when I am old and gray.

Recently I took a big step towards exploring this option – I signed up for my very first creative writing class! Now this is meaningful for me because it forces to me to entertain the idea that I could actually call myself a writer one day. However, because I am still lacking the self confidence to actually sit in a room full of people who also claim to writers, I am taking an online course in order to maintain my anonymity. I’m not sure what to expect from an online writing course but I hope it will be inspiring and motivating to explore different genres, points of view, and writing styles. The worst case scenario is that I discover that I have a self-inflated ego about my writing skills and I crash back to earth into a cold pool of reality. Wish me luck and I hope I still have the will to blog after the next 6 weeks.

One of the main reasons I signed up for this class is because I don’t want to look back in 10 years and wish I had explored this path. I don’t want to wonder “What if…” when it comes to pursing my passion. I understand that taking a risk or putting myself out there does not guarantee happiness, but this is not a fleeting interest. Books have been a major influence in my life; they have been my escape, my comfort place, and my connection to new characters and places. I simply wonder if I have the skills to write in a way that could have a similar impact on others.

I have taken chances before (leaving my job at Chevron and moving to Dallas) and the outcome was not what I expected or planned at the time. But that move brought me to where I am today, which is a much better place in my life than what I left behind in Louisiana. Chasing my pen across a piece of paper is less risky than previous changes I have made in my life, and I am curious to see what story unfolds from the road not taken.

Is there some dream you wished you had chased, a hobby you have always wanted to try, or a longing to try something new in your life? I would love to hear about an unexplored path that lingers in your thoughts. Let me know if you have ever taken a risk, made a big change, and what story you have to tell.

Photo of Sophia, perhaps a future writer or computer genius!

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