On Friday, Shannon Whitney Messenger, answered a few of my questions on her blog. Specifically, she shared the story of how she became a writer. This, of course, got me thinking about my life.
When I was in high school I was a pretty average student. I made A's in most classes, except Math. I could do well at it if I did an insane number of practice problems, but "well" never really got much farther than a B. My engineer father could never really understand this, because in mathematics there is only correct answer.
When it came time to take the ACT and SAT, I only halfheartedly prepared (compared to the people who lived and breathed test preparation). I knew my college career depended on it. But, standardized test preparation was just something I couldn't really get into, despite how important it was. And after taking the ACT three times and getting the same freaking score, I figured that was my number.
My Dad had always told me that if I wanted to go away to college I had to get a scholarship, otherwise I would have to go to the local university that was well known in...horror...engineering. I was fortunate enough to be invited for an interview at UAB's Honor Program. I loved everything about the program. At the Honor's House they had this wall that you could scribble on, write whatever profound musings were tickling your brain at the time (this was before facebook, so the concept seemed ultra cool). We could call the professor's by their first names, and if you didn't like sitting at a desk, they had couches in the back you could sit in instead. And the interview was just plain fun.
When I got home from my interview, there was nothing I wanted more than to attend the UAB Honors Program. I knew that on paper I wasn't the most stellar candidate for a scholarship. But, you know what I did? Everyday, I imagined myself receiving a letter from UAB announcing that I had a full paid scholarship. Every. Day. I even imagined the green logo at the top, the Times New Roman font announcing my good fortune, and I could even feel the texture of that special university fancy paper on my fingertips.
And wouldn't you know it... I got that letter. When I opened the envelope and read it the first time, I felt like I had been reading it for the millionth time, because it was exactly like I had repeatedly imagined.
As writers, we write because we love it. We write because it defines who we are. And a lot of us write because we want to be published. I'm not ashamed to say it. But there are some people who say you shouldn't write with the sole purpose of finding an agent and getting published. And I see what those people are saying. But, what's wrong with having a conviction so strong that you actually believe your dreams into reality? With a lot of hard work, it could happen. Hey, it worked for me once before.