When I was little, I wanted to be an author. I memorized a 10-minute presentation in the fourth grade in which I was assigned to pretend I was my favorite author, JK Rowling. I amazed my parents with my presentation at the “Author Open House” because I was so shy and quiet as a child that they couldn’t believe how loud and excited I was to talk about the Harry Potter series. I “broke out of my shell.”
Later, I wanted to be a teacher. At other times, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then, in middle school, I read “Last Shot: Mystery at the Final Four” by John Feinstein. I remember being so thrilled by the prospects of covering an event on deadline, being surrounded by spectacular athletes, and finding stories everywhere. For a while, I wanted to be a sports journalist.
Then, in high school, that dream somewhat disappeared. Without a school newspaper to write for, I had no chance to gain experience in print journalism. Fast forward a few years though (and I’m not even sure how it happened) and I’m covering a college basketball team that has the potential to make it the Final Four, and I could cover it just like the main characters did in “Last Shot.”
It’s kind of weird how life works out. I don’t plan on pursuing sports journalism as a career, but I’m not altogether ruling it out. I love the way I feel when I’m proud of an article I put together. I’m most proud of when an article works itself out after struggling through days of writing a feature with no idea of where the story is headed.
I agree with Orwell’s motives for writing, especially aesthetic enthusiasm. When I hear something that I feel needs to get shared, I want to write about it, and I want to write about it in a way that “clicks” for me. I like playing with different words to find out which ones sound the best, too. I also agree with sheer egoism. I think most people start to seriously write because they feel that what they have to say is valuable or important. I know when I started, I wanted to be clever and respected because I had always been the quiet kid who never shared her thoughts (not anymore, though, and I wonder if that has anything to do with how often I currently write). For me, confidence is such a big part of writing that it’s particularly hard to put words down when I’m having a rough day.