My final decision to put off school and focus on finishing my first novel happened because of a patch of ice. It wasn’t even a very large patch of ice.
About a month ago I was walking out of H-mart with a couple (yes a couple, don’t judge me) boxes of ramyun. For white people who don’t eat spicy food that is super spicy and super delicious ramen. Because I am eternally clumsy I managed to find the only part of the parking lot with frozen water, fell, and broke my leg. At first, all I could think was … OWWWWWW. I got to the hospital, they gave me pain killers and set my leg and I had to wait around for the doctor to say it was okay for me to go home. This took a very long time and I had time think past the immediate future. I was not a happy camper. I was going to have to put off school, again.
For those of you who don’t know, I am 23 years old, and I don’t have my college degree. I went to college right out of high school but couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. First, I was going to be an editor. I love books, getting to read all day seemed like a great job! I went to school for a year and I was doing really well! Then reality set in and I found out that reading all day was not actually the job. Also, to be honest, I suck at spelling and I am even worse with grammar. Spell check and I are like this. *insert crossed fingers*
My next brilliant idea was to be a nurse. One of my favorite people in the world is a nurse! After a year of truly painful schooling reality again reared its ugly head and I remembered that I suck at science and don’t deal well with bodily fluids. I mean seriously, can you imagine a nurse that pukes every time the patient does? That is the exact opposite of helpful.
After this I decided that I was getting too old, at the advanced age of 20, and I needed to be practical. So I decided to be an accountant. People always need an accountant right? This was the shortest lived of my aspirations as I soon realized that I do not hate myself that much. I gave up and realized I had no clue what I wanted to go to school for. So I told myself I would take a year off to “find myself” and I would come back to school refreshed and ready to graduate. Let’s be honest though, I really just wanted to get away from homework.
Around the time of the aforementioned accident I had finally settled on a career, settled being the key word. I knew I was getting older and I was getting worried about not having my degree yet. So I decided I was going to get my bachelor’s degree and be a foreign English teacher in South Korea. I love South Korean pop culture, probably to an unhealthy and slightly obsessive degree. Also, I truly like kids, they are adorable and some of the weirdest people you will meet. So I decided I would combine my want to travel and my love of kids and get myself a fairly stable career.
This is where my accident comes in. As I was sitting in that emergency bed I realized why I could never really decide what I wanted to do. Why I had settled for something I thought sounded interesting but I knew would drive me crazy, and not the funny crazy I am now, within a few years. I wasn’t lying before. I do like kids and Korean pop culture, but I didn’t really want to base my entire life on it.
The truth is I have always known what I want to do. Writing. I have been coming up with stories and trying to write them down since I was in high school and I have been an avid reader for much longer than that. In 6th grade they literally gave me an award because I read so much. I didn’t even know that was a thing.
The reason I never really took my writing seriously is because I know how risky it is. I know that it is very likely that I will never make a cent as an Author. There is no guarantee anyone will ever read this blog, much less a whole novel. And with the publishing world the way it is right now it is nearly impossible to get a publishing deal, even if you have a great book. This leaves the even less safe and more frightening world of self-publishing.
So I was practical, I shoved my stories to the back of my mind, pushing it to that far-away “someday.” When I was done with school and I didn’t have to work so much. When I was financially stable and could take a month or two off and work on it. Sitting in that emergency room bed I realized that this “someday” was never going to be now. With my injury I knew that I would have to put school off until at least the fall. Because of that I would probably not be done with school until I was 28. Then I would be in another country, trying to learn my new job and learn the language and it would go on and on like this, pushing my dream off until “someday.” Before I knew it I would be 30 and I would still have never written a single book.
To some people 30 may not seem all that old. But believe you me; it scares the crap out of a 23 year old. So until the end of 2015 I am going to focus on my writing, and I will have my first novel done before I am 24, in 5 months. I am making this blog to keep myself accountable, to document my experience of writing a novel. If I try to use real humans to keep me on track I will talk their ear off about my book so much that they are sick of it before I even finish my first draft. With this blog I have a way to vent and anyone who chooses to listen can also choose to click away from the page and make me shut up.
In a couple years I may be back to school, being responsible and figuring out a career that would actually make me money. I may try this out and realize I love reading and the idea of writing a book but I absolutely hate doing it. Maybe I will love writing but I will show it to people and find out that my writing bites. But when I am that terrifying age of 30 I don’t want to still be thinking “someday” or have given up my dream completely. I want to be able to look back and at least say that I tried.