Friday, April 27, 2012

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A....Writer?

When I was little I wanted to be a super star.

 The more flamboyant the better, Lady GaGa type of crazy famous.

 I spent a lot of time dancing on top of my cedar chest, with a green feather boa, singing to my imaginary audience of devoted fans, "Thank you! Thank you! I love you! You're too kind!" My quiet and reserved parents were mortified.

 Well, I eventually grew up (kinda sorta) and despite having done a lot of professional theater--never became a super star. Instead I ended up working as a receptionist for my father in the family business. I quickly discovered that my loud personality and my dad's quiet personality were not a good mix in the work place. So, I went out into the real world and landed a job at the University of Illinois-Computer Science Department.

 While this was all going on I was also attending Parkland College working towards my associates degree. I was enrolled in English 101 and 102, which meant that I was learning about writing. I found this particularly helpful because the position I held in the Computer Science Department was one where I wrote tons of business letters and proposals for the head of the department.
 Seriously. Tons.

 Like so much that my hands would cramp up.

 Some of this business correspondence was dictated to me by the Head of the Dept., but most of it was not. I became quite intimate with Grant Proposals. My job was to read the grant, read what the faculty member had put together, and then write the proposal for the grant. Which in this case was basically a one-page cover letter that accompanied the Grant Proposal and introduced it.

 Did I have any idea how to write these? No.

 Actually when I got the job at the Computer Science Department I thought that I would be sitting at a computer all day, maintaining calendars, making appointments, greeting students and answering phones.

 Well, I did all that...but I wrote a lot more. I was very thankful for my writing courses at Parkland. Several years later I was working in the Student Accounts Office at Lincoln College-Normal. I quickly found that this job also would include writing!

 I was writing all the time! Letters to parents regarding tuition, memos to the financial aid department about distribution of funds, and then finally acting as a writer of the new mission statement for the college in 2006.


 I never once said that when I grew up that I wanted to be a writer!

 But somehow it had happened.

 And it happens all of the time.

 More than likely any job that you end up working at after you graduate will have you doing some kind of writing. My husband is a tree trimmer, and he writes! He has to draft proposals for companies on a daily basis! He never thought he would be writing.

 Other jobs where you will write:
Insurance Agent
Administrative Assistant
Retail Buyer

 I could add more!

 There will come a day that you think back on your English classes and feel thankful for having taken them.

 I promise.

 You might not grow up to be a writer, but you are always going to be writing.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone is a writer. At some points of our lives, we ought to writer an application letter, a comment for a survey at our favorite café, or a simple note to be posted on the fridge. Every time we put our thoughts into writing sometimes there are struggles of thinking of what right words to write to avoid offending anyone, to make sure it’s clear, and to make sure that our true personality reflects in each word. You are a writer. Everything is there: the dream to be a star, the inspiration that is Lady Gaga, and the passion on words. The good thing about writing is it can be a job, a hobby, or something we cannot really define. You're a step closer to doing what you want.