Other than a brief stint during elementary school when I got it in my head that I wanted to be a marine biologist and dolphin trainer (don’t ask…I read a book written by a dolphin trainer and it sounded like a lot of fun), I have always wanted to be a writer. I knew it the first time I picked up a pencil and started forming shapes on a piece of paper that vaguely resembled letters. I knew it when I wrote my first “book” in 2nd grade–some mystery adventure story staring my group of friends from school. I knew it even when every step I took on my career path seemed to lead me farther and farther away from my dream.
Somehow, though, you will always end up doing what you’re meant to do.
Funny how that happens, isn’t it? And it’s even funnier how I’ve ended up back here, writing and writing and writing.
It was about a year ago I’d decided to start down a different path. I was stagnating, feeling uninspired. I’d been listening to that maddeningly persistent voice of self-doubt in my head that kept telling me that I was a hack, that my writing was never going to go anywhere, that I should just give it up and get on with my life. For years I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school for a counseling degree, and I figured it was probably time to explore that option since there didn’t seem to be any better options.
But the universe had different plans. And perhaps if I’d waited just a little longer, if I’d been just a little more patient, I would have seen it coming.
I fell back into my writing career with a job offer that required a hard hat.
The company I work for now produces newsletters, marketing and pr materials, and even online and media copy for companies–everything from small neighborhood associations and businesses to huge Fortune 500 corporations. The biggest clients are the railroads (since the founder was a railroader when he first got the idea for the company), and my job as a corporate journalist is to go out and visit the men and women on job sites, in shops, railroad yards, etc., to gather and write their stories.
I never imagined I’d be donning a hard hat, orange vest and steel toe boots in my writing career, but I tell you, it has certainly made life more interesting.
It’s a challenging, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately amazing job. I’ve met some truly incredible people, written stories I’m proud of, made some really, really great friends.
But, most importantly, I’ve breathed life back into my own writing. And that, my friends, is what’s really exciting.
I guess Cosette thought my hard hat looked like the perfect place to kick back and relax after her trip to the North Pole last night. Silly elf.