So let me back up a sec.
I have known for nearly my entire life that I wanted to be a writer. I started writing my own short stories when I was in second grade, and graduated to horrifically bad novels by the age of 10. I have both undergraduate and graduate degrees in creative writing, even though I was made well aware by both my parents and literally everyone over the age of 25 that there were no job openings listed in the newspaper reading WANTED: SOMEONE TO WRITE DEEPLY EMBARRASSING AND REVEALING PERSONAL ESSAYS ABOUT THEIR OWN SHORTCOMINGS. I was committed to it. I enjoyed it. And I was– I like to think– good at it, or at least good at surrounding myself with people who were willing to lie about it being good.
And now I am an executive at an insurance company. And I don’t write at all. And I want to know why.
There is, of course, the obvious hipster argument about how working for The Man destroyed my creativity and my drive to succeed in the arts. First of all, I was never much of a hipster. While I enjoy their glasses and their ironic tattoos, their music makes me sad, and I look terrible in beanies. And I’ve always kind of enjoyed The Man. I like the smell of copier paper and the fact that I get to sit a lot. And the money. I do enjoy the money.
But I think that having a full-time job sitting in front of a computer does kind of cap that desire, a little. And I think the break I took after graduating from my MFA program– the relief of not needing to record every detail of my life and rearrange it until it met a certain theme, the simple joy of just living something without writing it– developed a sense of permanence after a year or so, and by then it started to feel too late.
That was ten years ago.
But it’s not too late. Right?
That’s what I’m here to find out.