I am not a writer.
I’m a numbers person. Numbers are my thing. Words are not my thing.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts came at the age of seven. It was a Mickey Mouse calculator.
I remember being pretty young, elementary school age, and staying at my MeMa’s house. She had an adding machine and I thought it was just the coolest thing since sliced bread. She put a pencil through my fingers where my middle finger was on top of the pencil and my index and ring fingers were on the underside of the pencil. As she began teaching me how to properly use my fingers for certain keys, she gave me a phone book and I would go down the list of phone numbers typing them in and adding them up and she would check it for mistakes. I loved playing with the adding machine. In my career as an accountant I have used an adding machine probably millions of times and thanks to my MeMa, I’m extremely fast and proficient at the skill.
In third grade as we were learning multiplication we would play Around the World in the classroom where one student would stand next to the desk behind them and the two students would face off with a multiplication flash card held up by the teacher. The person to shout the correct answer first would move to the next desk to face the next challenger. I was rarely beaten. I loved that game!
I skipped 8th grade math so that I could take Algebra in the 8th grade to free up enough room in my schedule to allow me to take Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculous and Calculous in my four years of high school. Algebra was my favorite!
On family road trips my mom would buy us those Brain Quest learning books to take with us and mine was always the math one.
Our school did a fundraiser for St Jude’s Children Hospital and I did math problems for money.
In high school I got to school early so I could help tutor other students in their math classes.
I was President of Math Club and competed in Number Sense.
I could go on and on with examples and stories. It is clear that numbers were my thing and would be a part of my future. It didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I went to college to get my degree in Accounting. It fit me perfectly.
Numbers weren’t my ONLY thing
But numbers weren’t my only thing. I did love to read when I was younger. I couldn’t get enough of the Mary Higgins Clark books. In fact, when my parents sold the home we grew up in, we found a big stack of them in the bottom of my old closet. I read a lot growing up, but words still weren’t my favorite.
My senior year of high school I took a dual credit English class. I basically took college Freshman English and got both college credit and high school credit. The problem was that there was a lot of writing involved with this class and not just any kind of writing – creative writing. This was, most definitely, NOT my thing. So I did what any other person would do in this situation – I paid my younger sister to write my paper and threatened her with her life if I didn’t get an A or if she told our parents. Much to my delight, and hers, I did get an A. Twenty dollars well spent!
I always loved the idea of journaling, but it would only last a few days at a time before the journal would start collecting dust on my nightstand and months would go by with nothing being written. I could never seem to make the habit stick.
So as a tiny little dream of starting a blog began bubbling up inside of me I just pushed it to the side. Who am I to start a blog? I’m not a writer. I’m a numbers person. But the thought just wouldn’t go away. People would laugh at the idea of an accountant trying to write a blog. Did I even have anything to say?
About a year went by before I casually mentioned this idea of writing a blog to anyone. When my husband and I would sit and talk about our future, or our dreams and what we might want to do besides our current career paths, my answer was always to help people. I wasn’t sure what that would look like for me or how I could help others. I didn’t think I had much to offer, but I just felt called in some way to help. I shared with him how much I was burnt out as an accountant. I threw out a few ideas of things I might enjoy doing to get me away from accounting and to fulfill the want in my heart of helping. One idea I snuck into my rambling list was the idea of starting a blog. He caught it. I couldn’t sneak it by him. And you know what? He didn’t laugh. He actually thought it was a good idea. But I was still unsure. So I did nothing. I was not a writer. I’m a numbers person.
So what makes someone a writer? Is it possible to become a writer later in life or did all writers grow up loving to write? I began doing a little digging for answers.
Yes, it is possible to become a writer later in life. One man was a retired businessman and in his mid-sixties before he wrote his first book. Many people have written books as a hobby while working full time jobs. There are endless examples of people who have successfully written books who never even dreamed of being an author. The one thing these people all seemed to have in common was that they just started wherever they were.
To become a writer you just simply have to write.
JUST. START. WRITING.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. As I sat down with my Dream Big Journal I had to write my weekly affirmation. This week my affirmation looks like this: I am a writer.
This girl, who loves numbers, is a writer. All it takes is one small step forward to propel you in the direction you want to go. You have to see yourself as what you want to be. It doesn’t just happen. I could still have the idea of a blog in my head and never have mentioned it to another person. I could have just sat there, with an idea, and never taken action. The first day I sat down and began to write, I became a writer.
You just have to start. What is it that you have wanted to start and have just been too scared to make the first move? Maybe you want to learn a new craft or to play an instrument. Maybe you want to write or do a fitness competition. Whatever the idea you have floating around in your head, start by telling someone you love. Say it out loud. Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it. And then take action. Just take one tiny step. You will be scared and nervous and probably second guess yourself. You might even be terrible at it the first time. But you also might surprise yourself and be amazing. You will never know if you don’t try. Treat it as an experiment. Just start.
I am a writer.
What will you be?