For years, people tried to talk me out of becoming a writer. There was a particular instance in middle school that I will never forget. My teacher had given me an assignment to pick the career I wanted and to present a Powerpoint presentation in front the of class. As she was walking around the classroom, she said, “What did you choose, Madison?” I distinctly remember telling her “Journalism.” My Powerpoint had a very colorful cover slide with a picture of a quill.
“Oh, you will want to pick something else,” she said. Hurt, I continued to listen because she was my teacher, someone who I trusted to lead and guide me. “You won’t ever make any money being a writer,” she said and walked off. She never knew how much those words impacted me. Subtly, my mind shifted to other careers. “Let me look up the salary for a nurse,” I said to myself, knowing the healthcare field was always promising. Seeing the numbers on the screen settled it. I would be a nurse, even if every fiber in my thirteen-year-old body went against it!
I continued on in high school taking health occupations classes and even doing clinicals. My heart wasn’t in it, though. Away from prying eyes and judgmental attitudes, I would write at home. English was my favorite class. I would spend hours writing stories. I had tasted the joy of creating something of my very own, and no one could take that away from me. My mom knew my heart. She didn’t pressure me to do anything, but I know that she prayed for me and she listened. I’m so thankful I had someone to believe in me and my dream!
Countless friends and teachers in high school said I needed to be a teacher, because I am good at explaining things to people. I smiled and said, “That’s not the career for me.” I said this to each person who suggested it. I got tired of hearing it, to be honest with you. Inside I screamed, “Can anyone see that I want to be a writer?” I didn’t know it at the time, but I was taking a stand for what I believed in and not letting other voices talk me out of what God called me to do.
In the midst of my battle with my heart and my head, my mom told my brother and me, “Do whatever you love to do. Don’t let anyone pressure you to do otherwise.”
When it came time to register for college classes, I was automatically drawn to the communication major because of the writing aspect. Somewhere along the way, I decided that my mom was right. Even if I never made an enormous salary from writing, I was going to do it because I LOVED it. Seriously, I have a page full of ideas on my computer of things to write about. I have dreams about characters and stories. No amount of money can compare to true fulfillment!
And now? I’m entering my senior year in college, working on many projects for Gateway publications and writing about current events for my internship with Athena Magazine for Girls. What if I had listened to my middle school teacher? I would be miserable! I want to encourage each of you to not let your dream die!