The Moment I Knew I Wanted To Be A Writer

Some people are not lucky enough to know what they want to do.

I was not one of those people.

From an early age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But, I thought like most people, that I would do something else while trying to make writing my career. I entered college studying a vast array of possibilities. I studied nursing, law, medicine, everything under the sun.

In fact I think at one point or another I was enrolled in every department my college had.

But, I remember distinctly the day that I knew I would be a writer. It would move from my hobby to my career. I wouldn’t try something and hope to make writing work.

I would write and that was final.

It was my last year of school. I was in a course called Contemporary Fiction. It was a good class, and it was taught by Dr. Chapman, an excellent writer and artist. I had him for multiple classes, and spent far too much of his time asking him questions.

One day, he told us that a writer, Alison Espach, was coming to visit the school as part of her book tour. She was a debut novelist, and as part of her visit she was visiting the creative writing classes. I was dismayed at first. I was not in the creative writing department, so I would be missing her.

But, Dr. Chapman asked if she would visit the Contemporary Fiction class, as she was writing contemporary fiction. She agreed and the next week she would be in our class to discuss being a writer.

He gave us samples of her new book The Adults. I liked it so much that later that day I bought her book. I recommend it if you ever come across it. It’s great, and one of the funniest, best written books I’ve read.

The day came and she came to class I couldn’t believe it.

She was great. She was funny, entertaining. She told us about the process of becoming an author and finding her agent.

I saw there with rapt attention.

I hung on her every word.

She talked about the process of writing and the book she was working on. Everything she said just sank in.

I knew then that I would become a writer. I could see my future crystallized before me.

The day I set aside the other pursuits. I was going to give it my best shot.

I was lucky enough that I never had to try and find another career. Though I stumbled quite a bit, I managed to make it work.

I became a writer.

On that day I knew it was going to happen.

Written by

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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