It’s never too late for a career change

So why not start mine here?

The first career choice I can remember making came in the fourth grade, after a visit to the dentist left me temporarily with one less tooth and in much pain. In a fit of vengeance, I decided I too wanted to be a remover of teeth. Ms. Smith, my teacher that year, encouraged me to write the local University’s dental department. They sent me some brochures, and a toothbrush, and I was hooked.

By fifth grade, teeth removal wasn’t enough. I decided I wanted to be a surgeon. I prepped for my future career with anatomy books and the game of operation. That year, my family finally made the leap and purchased a computer. An interactive operating game — one in which the animated patient would scream in pain and freeze the PC if you forgot to administer local anesthetic — replaced the board game.

Then a kid at school sliced his hand on the playground. Blood rushing everywhere, my body felt as though it would faint — and I made the decision that surgeon was probably not the best career for me.

In middle school, I found my calling. After staying with a family friend for the summer, and watching some now half-forgotten Lifetime movie about Ann Landers and Abigail Van Boren — the original Dear Ann and Dear Abby — I decided the profession of journalism was calling.

I did what any rational tween would do: I phoned the newspaper, explaining I would like to write for them. I had been on a history kick (I briefly flirted with the idea of being a historian), so I pitched the idea of a history column. The editor asked me what my credentials were, and not yet having been introduced to the word, I told him I was only in seventh grade and that he would have to explain what he meant.

He suggested that I talk with their teen publication editor, so I pitched her the idea for the history column. She suggested most teens don’t care about history — who knew! — and encouraged me to write about other topics. So I put together some trite first person whose overarching question was why can’t we all just get along, and boom — I was in the following Sunday’s paper.

I was addicted.

Since then, I’ve been published in newspapers and magazines many times, though I would never call it a full career. Other jobs have always paid the bills — as telemarketer, as technical writer, as web designer. But no matter what career I flirt with, I still have this deep desire to write.

In recent years, I’ve let my writing slack. I guess I got lazy. But no more.

You see, today is the start of a year-long adventure. Today is the day that I get serious about writing, both as a hobby and a profession. Today — Monday, August 1st — is the day I begin my year-long writing experiment, and venture on to this new career.

For the next year, each and every day, I will publish one new blog piece on Medium. Some may be crap. Some may be perfect. But everyday, there will be something. I will use Medium as my sandbox, as a way to experiment with new and unfamiliar writing styles and approaches. I may fail in literary technique. But I will not fail at posting every day.

At 30, I have not yet tied myself to my career. So today, I start a second. Today is the day that I give my attempt to — finally — be the writer I have always desired to be.

Won’t you join me on my daily journey?

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