I knew that writing was my calling at a young age. I started out making goals of becoming an author. “I’m going to be an author by the age of 30”. I was so serious about my goal that when I was a teenager I took a writing workshop with an author name Marita Golden. She has several books, but her memoir Don’t Play in the Sun, really touched me. I like this book so much that I was compelled to reach out to her. I don’t really know if I actually wrote her a letter, but I ended up in an all day Saturday workshop with her and a handful of others. At that time I thought poetry was my thing and I thought I would write a poetry book.
When I graduated High School I went to community college to save money. I actually got a full scholorship for two years. The only thing I had to pay for was books. I studied a program that would prepare me for journalism. I had a mentor who was a journalist for the Washington Post. Around this time is when I started a blog on tumblr. When I finally got to university and took the introductory course to get into the journalism school, I decided that journalism wasn’t for me.
I became an psychology major for a semester and finally change to English Language and Literature. I figured this was broad enough where I could write and get into television production, another job I wanted to do. I had a hard time in college because I procrastinated a lot. I also took advance math classes I didn’t need to prove that I was smart. I struggled to have a balance college experience and on top of tha,t I commuted from home. I felt discourage at this time because I got low grades on my English papers. My teachers would comment that I needed to improve my writing. I took this to heart since I really wanted to be a writer. The truth is I always wrote my papers at the last minute. Always. If my paper was due at 12:00pm on Monday, I was starting it at 8:00am on Monday.
The best class I took in college was a course about blogging. I was still using tumblr at this point and was required to start a wordpress blog for the course. I knew about wordpress and knew I wanted to start a wordpress blog, but I didn’t think I was ready. The course forced me to just do it. I couldn’t ponder my topic for weeks, I couldn’t take months to choose a title. The course helped me because I had a deadline. At this time I also had an internship at WETA which is a local television station in D.C. I remember my manager took me to a big meeting about Ken Burns project. After the meeting was over one of the project coordinators advised me that I have to be able to take a lot of no’s to be successful.
Here’s the thing, every time I made a decision I thought about that decision. I pondered how it would benefit me. I did my research and talked to people. After all of that, I am not doing none of the things I thought I would do. I am not writing poetry, nor am I a journalist. I have not written a book, nor am I working in television production. I worked so hard to be a certain thing but later decided that it was not for me. Now I am blogging, not an author of a book but writing. What do I learn from all of this? I have learned to just start. I thought I had all the answers back then. I ended up going down different paths than I originally planned.
I can make a million plans, but what really matters are my actions. Plans are good and keep you on the right path, but you have to walk to get to the destination.
Life Hack #2: Just start.