Why did I wait until now to start writing? I had a fifteen year career in higher education. I was a teacher and an administrator. I'm fifty-one years old. And at the time I decided to make writing a career, I had two kids in college and one about to graduate from high school.
Writing full-time, on paper, at least, was not a strategic career move. But then, most of my best decisions probably hadn't looked too good on paper either.
In 2013, during my youngest son's high school graduation, I listened to a commencement speech about following your dreams, finding your passion, not letting others define who you become, and not giving up. I had looked into the sea of graduates and thought it likely life would kick most of them in the butt a few times before they reached their goals. But then I thought about myself--like any good parent at their child's graduation--and I took the speaker's words to heart.
I had flirted with my own dreams, but for the most part I'd set them aside, forgetting all the inspirational speeches from my own graduation ceremonies. After my son's graduation, I dug out my old notebooks, folders with research, and at least a half dozen outlines, and I started to write the story I had the idea for in 2009.
It was a long time coming.
Four years later, I'm making my mark. My first manuscript is in revision and I'll push to publish this fall. I got this dream thing down now.
And the son whose graduation inspired me to act on my dreams? He's about to graduate from college.
I can't wait to hear that commencement speech!