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October 8th, 2014

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My Writing Career Is History

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


            Following your dreams can take you to some strange roads that might not have anything to do with your dreams, at all.

            We can’t all have our first dreams, of course. America really wouldn’t function with fifty million actors, one hundred million singers, and two hundred and fifty million lottery winners. What do those all have in common? Long odds.

            Still, it’s important to pursue a dream, even if it isn’t the dream you end up with. My grandkids want to be ninjas. It’s probably not on the average college curriculum, but who knows? I’m saving back some masks and black pajamas, just in case.

            My first dreams were to be a scientist, or an astronaut … or better yet, a combination of the two: a Science Officer. Yes, I was a Trekkie, why do you ask? But I had to give up those dreams because, it turns out, both jobs require being good at math.

            A writer doesn’t have to be good at math.

            Or so I told myself. By the time I was halfway through high school, I settled on a career plan: I would become a firefighter, and on my days off I would write best-selling novels. My backup plan would be a forest ranger, thus putting me in a position to battle forest fires in between writing books.

           I cheerfully ignored the results of counseling tests, which revealed I would be ideally suited for a career in the food service industry. Years later I realized food service was actually not a bad career path from the standpoint of employment opportunities and management paths. I mean, how many astronauts get hired every year?Collapse )

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