Writer By Default
I became a writer by default. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life as far as a career was concerned. I liked a variety of topics and when an idea gets stuck in my head, I research it obsessively until I find out enough about it that decide that I don’t want to do it forever. Then after all that research, I write about it.
I was told by my grandpa that, “If you like what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That is when I figured out that I’ve always liked to write and that eventually I could get paid to write about topics that I wanted to obsess on and not be considered crazy.
How did I get to this point where I knew that writing’s what I wanted to do? Being a writer was the last career choice I had in my mind. In my mind, I was going to be an entrepreneur. The name alone, entrepreneur, it has a ring to it that makes me feel important; it makes me feel rich. The problem was I didn’t know what kind of business I wanted to own.
I was one of these guys who changed his mind about what business I’d like to own as many as three or four times a day. I definitely could have started the business (whatever business it was for the day), figured out ways to market it, and then go to all the conventions, and of course I already knew all the people in the industry, and by the end of the day I’d be making millions. Then I would sell the business and end up living it up down South somewhere next to the ocean. I would be kicking back drink Margaritas on the beach in a lazy beach chair, saying, “Honey isn’t this great?” Then my boss would snap me back into reality by yelling, “Doug! I need those dishes washed a faster! We have customers waiting on you!”
I knew I was just daydreaming, but I use to love to do that. I daydreamed so much that I often thought that it might not be so bad to be delusional and believe your own daydreams. Your reality is your perception.
I think in my head I’ve owned: a doggie day care center, an adult day care center, and been an airbrush artist who also owned a tattoo shop, even though I have no artistic ability.
In my head I’ve owned a gun shop, a hot air balloon ride place, and been an auctioneer who owned a high-end auto store that fixed up exotic cars.
I’ve sold salt water aquariums and fish accessories, been a bail bondsman, and definitely owned a pool hall and bar. Wait! Make that a pool hall/micro-brewery. That sounds better than just a bar.
In my head I’ve been a dog breeder and animal shelter—both at the same time. I’ve owned a ukulele and guitar shop, and cigar and wine shop; high end though, not just a little corner liquor store.
Sometimes I got more extravagant. I’ve been a plastic surgeon, a helicopter pilot, and a diamond importer. I’ve also owned motorcycle shops, not just one, but a whole chain of them; even though I’ve never even owned a motorcycle of my own.
Sometimes in my head I get more exotic. I’ve been a herbologist, yoga studying, martial arts master. I’ve also been a investigating, lie detecting, forensic psychologist, who, by the way, is also a lawyer who does international trade consulting on the side.
Finally, in my head, I’ve been a guy who by day was a limo driving, locksmith, who solved crimes and then at night, I played the piano at my own night club, when I wasn’t out mystery shopping.
In my head I’ve done it all, but then the boss would yell and wake me up out of my fantasy world and before you know it several years had passed by.
I wanted to do something career wise that could keep up with my interests. I wanted to be able to talk to different kinds of people and explore things that interest me. For me, writing helps me to be able to do this, even when I’m the only one reading my stories.
I somehow thought of this from your story,
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
(“Everyone’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”.)