I made the decision to become a writer two weeks ago.
My twenties have been an immense struggle to discover what I should be doing with my life – what I was put here for. My problem is, I find some level of fulfillment in many different places, from accounting to interior design. The only things I know for sure are that I love being creative and I love learning new things.
I’ve gone through the same mental gymnastics routine many times. I’d get restless with the way things are and decide to focus on finding my calling. I would choose some venture that excited me and put myself into it wholeheartedly for a little while. Then I would become bored or realize some aspect of the venture was a deal-breaker. I quit. Then after living my unfulfilling, frustrating life for awhile longer, I would search for the next thing.
Three weeks ago I was going through the same routine. The new focus was graphic design. I know some basics, but I would need to learn a lot more to make money. I was excited until I started watching tutorials. I was incredibly bored. I knew I would not be happy doing graphic design full-time. I would be happier than if I stayed in a “traditional” job, but it wasn’t a perfect fit. Many people would say a perfect fit isn’t a realistic goal, but I’ve always had a relentless drive to find it, nonetheless.
Graphic design was proving to be a nonstarter, so I decided to do yet another deep dive into my options. I was more frustrated than ever before, but still determined. I Googled variations of “how to find your calling”, and found a lot of cliché advice that I had read many times before. Finally, I found advice that made sense to me. Actually, I had come across it before. It read along the lines of, “What did you love to do everyday as a child?”. At first I was at a loss, yet again, because there were a lot of things I loved to do as a child. I loved to sing and listen to music, I loved to draw, I loved learning, I loved a bunch of normal kid stuff.
I decided to ask my mom what she remembered me doing the most as a child. Maybe she would remember more accurately than I could.
After thinking about the question for a minute she responded, “Well, you loved to read.”
At first I brushed off the answer and got ready to go back to the drawing board. Then a light went off in my head. I read so much that I didn’t even think of it as an activity, it was ingrained in my life. And there was one other thing I did even more than reading – I made up stories.
It was beyond imaginary friends and pretend play with other kids. I had an entire made up world that I would act out whenever I was alone as young as six, probably younger. I kept adding more characters and story lines to this world year by year. My mom babysat other kids sometimes, and before I could read, I would open a picture book and “read” to them, making up a story based on the pictures. I started keeping journals as soon as I learned how to write, and I’ve never stopped. If there is one thing I could do for the rest of my life and never completely burn out, it’s writing.
When I made the decision to become a author, to write fiction books, I felt a sense of peace that I’ve felt with no other decision. Everything aligned and I knew that I needed to write stories, ones like in the books and movies that have touched me so deeply throughout my life.
In the coming weeks I will be chronicling the journey of completing and self-publishing my first novel. I hope to look back on this blog post in the future and be proud of how far I’ve come.
Thanks for reading,
K. J. Cole