Saturday, May 30, 2009

How did you realize this is what you wanted to do with your life?

Question 2 from the Eastbrook High School creative writing students is:
How did you realize this is what you wanted to do with your life?

I think this is a tough question for anyone these days, but especially for high school students ready to embark on jobs, careers and choosing colleges, and even life partners. What path do you choose? Where do I go from here? If I choose this, is this forever closed to me?

There are many things you can do to find what is the best area for you to go. You can take a Keirsey Sorter to find out what kind of Myers Briggs profile you have and from there see just what jobs suit you. Different personalities think in different ways. (I'm an INTJ.)

For me I didn't have this sort of information when I was coming out of high school. I won a scholarship in journalism for all the articles I wrote for the school newspaper. I thought I wanted to write newspaper articles.(And I did.) But even then I put down in the high school paper in the section on "senior dreams" that I wanted to write "the Great American Novel." At the time I was kidding--well, sort of. I loved reading more than anything.

I made a series of decisions. I took the Institute of Children's Literature course while I was in college. I changed my major from journalism to elementary education. I read a ton of children's books. And I worked with children. My job in college was in an off-campus preschool as a teacher's aide and since I was an elementary education major, I got to try all sorts of things.I learned as much in that job about children and books that they liked, as I did in university courses.

And I loved to evaluate. If I had known that, I would have made specific choices toward being an editor or some similar leanings, but instead I just lived life. I found the best thing for my own writing and for evaluating others' writing was to have experience and knowledge. So I read some more.

I took my first job reading/evaluating a manuscript for a friend(Daughter of Prophecy by Miles Owens) who was writing his first novel. I did it for the joy of reading and found I had a knack for it. He was so pleased with my work on it, when his editor and agent asked about who helped edit it, he happily shared my name. From there other things happened, but before all this happened, I did book reviews for several magazines for years. I read a ton of books!

So when I look back on "realizing what I wanted to do with my life?" it was actually a slow realization. It stemmed from loving reading so much that I wanted to be a part of that process of producing a fiction book. I think I realized it as a child, but didn't recognize that I could actually do it until I was an adult, had worked other jobs, married, had four boys and did book reviews.

One of my favorite verses that my aunt also gave to me when I graduated from high school is this:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5,6 NIV
I dated it June 1976 in my Bible.

It comes as a simple act of obeying and acknowledging God's purpose in your life. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? When did you realize it was possible? I want to encourage you in your dreams because if you are called to do something, it will follow you to the very depths of the sea (ask Jonah!)

Right above those verses is something I never thought much about before:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, WRITE them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3: 3,4 NIV)

So if you are being faithful to your purpose to those you love, to that which you love to do, there is a reward for it. Think on this as you choose the path you will take.

1 comment:

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

Great advice for anyone! BTW, the new banner is sooo cute. :)