Once upon a time, back in elementary school, I was already an old soul. A very silly old soul who still thought bathroom humor was the height of civilization, but an old soul nonetheless. I remember spending a good deal of my time trying to make peace between dramatic elementary school girls who, through a series of he-said she-said he-saids, had decided that they hated each other. I also remember knowing very early on exactly what it was that I loved – that I wanted to do.
I wanted to be a storyteller.
I can’t say writer because it all started with pictures. I illustrated books about kids getting bullied and about cats who died nine times and came back to life. My friend Jessica was my collaborator. She wrote. I drew. And re-drew, formulating vivid images of other people’s lives (and, in the case of the unfortunate cat named Diamond, deaths).
As time wore on, though, I started writing on my own, leaving behind many of the sketches in favor of word pictures. I wrote stories about apple trees falling in love with garbage trucks and a dog that saved a little girl’s life. And I started to self-publish these stories online, earning myself a little following and spending all my free time creating and publishing and promoting my work.
In my late teens, I was already a blogger. And not just a blogger, but a top-ten blogger, talking about philosophy and religion.
So it should have surprised no one when I started at a college known for its Journalism program and very quickly switched over to Creative Writing because journalism was just not creative enough.
My parents were pretty horrified (because I was obviously going to end up a homeless vagabond spouting poetry on the streets…right?).
But I knew that no matter what I had to do to get there, someday I was going to write for a living.
Fast-forward to today.
I’m living a totally nomadic lifestyle. I own my own business. I am a writer.
I am really doing this thing.
And it feels great to say that. Because I love it. I love taking words (and sometimes pictures and videos) and making them clarify, entertain, engage, or educate. I love making websites easier to understand and navigate. I love occasionally running into someone and finding out they’ve read something I wrote – feeling a little like a celebrity, albeit a behind-the-scenes one. And most of all I love that words have the power to heal, to build up, to encourage, to educate – to make us all just a little happier, more motivated, better.
It has been really hitting me these past couple weeks: I am a writer. And a self-employed one at that.
So this is where I’ll take a moment to pause from my travelogues and dating misadventures and photographs of tasty Belgian food to say thank you. Thank you to every reader, every client, every person who let me wedge my way into a writing project or a strategy project, every person who sent me a referral, every person who wrote me a reference, every person who bought my book.
It takes a village to raise a career. You have all made this moment – sitting in a Belgian cafe, finishing up the final touches of my eBook’s formatting, submitting articles, drinking a cappuccino – possible for me. Thank you.
Today I am immensely grateful.
P.S. Speaking of being a writer, today I’m being featured over at Miss Minimalist, talking about mine and Luna’s simple living on the road (and how I got rid of all my crap). If you are interested in simple living, you may want to check it out (both the post and her blog).