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Flashback Friday ~ The Saturday Late Edition

I have been running a day and a half  behind since we returned home from Hawaii.  I just can’t seem to catch up.  Maybe Sunday worship will help me reset my messed up internal clock.  In the mean time, Flashback Friday is a day late. Flashback Friday is brought to us by Linda of Mocha With Linda.  This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!

Take This Job & Blog It!

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why did you want to be that, and did you do it? Did you consistently plan to be whatever it was, or did you change your mind often? Did you do anything like volunteering or interning to give you a taste of your future occupation/role? Were you as happy/satisfied with what you became as you thought you would be? What surprised you? Would you choose it again? Do you still want to be something else – either in addition to or instead of?

My two consistent goals from childhood through adulthood were to be a published author and to NOT be a teacher. All through my childhood and teen years, people would comment (seemingly to me) right out of the blue, “Oh you are going to make an excellent teacher!” They wouldn’t ask me what I was going to be. Instead they would say things like, “You have to be a teacher!” And every time they did I was more determined to choose a different career.

Funny thing is, when I finally around to going to college at age 31, I ended up in the teaching program. It wasn’t my first choice. My first choice was writing, but I reasoned with myself that I have been writing for years while doing odd jobs (house keeping, maintenance, cook, dishwasher, etc.) to support myself and hadn’t gotten anywhere with it, so I’d better try for a real job. I randomly picked librarian since it was a book/reading/writing related career. And then my aptitude test said I should be a teacher and my guidance counselor insisted I take the intro to teaching course. I took it reluctantly, but as it turned out, I loved it.

So I poured all my heart and energy into becoming the best darn teacher I could be, buuuut the very last semester, as a reward for working so hard, I took a creative writing class. I wrote a piece my instructor loved and she insisted I enter it in a state-wide writing competition — and I won.

In just a few short weeks I would graduate from college as an elementary teacher, but that wasn’t my first dream. I perched on the edge of the campus fountain with my best-friend, Robin. I held the award certificate in one hand and the publication check in the other. “Robin,” I said. “This is real. This is my dream. I could actually do this.”

Robin agreed with me and she said she was proud of me. I told her I was dropping out of student teaching and switching my major to creative writing. Robin said she completely understood why I would want to do that. Then she stood up, clasped my face in her hands and yelled up my nose, “Get a grip! Teachers can write, but writers don’t eat! This whole thing was about supporting yourself and paying the bills, remember?”

She was right. I could always write but that one, one-hundred dollar check wasn’t going to go far in the rent and groceries department. I finished my student teaching, graduated, and took a job teaching elementary school in Las Vegas, Nevada. I loved my job. It pretty much consumed me — and I didn’t write.

Now my dream of writing is wiggling around in me again, but I don’t know how to grasp it and make it behave. I am not quite certain what genre to focus on or how to began, which is silly because it seems I would know just to begin by putting words on paper, but when I try no story comes.


  1. There was that little story a month or so ago about a guy on a horse, and a witch, and a flask … build on that! I’ll buy it!

    And this was a GREAT post! Very well told!

    1. Beth — I am so glad you asked this question! I haven’t seen Robin in years but I try to keep track of her. About 2 years ago she changed her phone number and left no way for me to find her. I just did an online search and I am hoping I just sent her a message. We’ll see!

  2. Teaching is so consuming that I can see why it may have been difficult to write since writing is consuming, too. However, now is the time to take your talent and run with it.

  3. I forgot to welcome you back home. I know what it’s like to be behind. I can’t seem to find the time to go visiting other blogs.

  4. I have discovered that too many choices can be debilitating. I have so many stories going at once that I am not getting any where. So I decided this year to pick just one and finish it. It is not easy but slowly I am getting the idea of “focus.”

    You are an excellent writer and story teller. Pick one story idea and run with it, no matter what, as a practice in getting it done.

  5. This was great! Hooray for a good friend like Robin! I can tell from things you’ve said and posted that you were/are a great teacher.

    And you are a top-notch writer too! I don’t know if you are interested in writing children’s books or adult books or both, but you’ve certainly got the beginnings of a book or a few on your blog! I can see Ella being a great kid’s book!

  6. What a fun read, Quilly. Everyone told me I was going to be a teacher too, and I even considered it, but when I got to college I discovered political science and majored in that (and unemployment). I eventually went to law school …

    but deep inside, I am a writer. I love to write. I have the same challenges with ‘wrapping things up’ that you do…and yet I see so much garbage published, I keep saying, I know I’m a better writer than THAT!

    So this fall, I’ve signed up for a writers group at my local recreation center. I figure it will be a way to get my toe in the water with other writers and decide whether I really like peer review after all!

    1. Kelley – -just remember, constructive criticism should be constructive. If it isn’t, find another group, but don’t give up. You’re an excellent writer!

  7. Hey, Quilly! Thanks for visiting my blog! I used to want to be an author too! Then I.. well, I don’t know. I never really made them long enough, and then I didn’t really like writing anymore. I don’t know. Oh, and Flopsy thanks you for your support.

  8. All I know is, you can make a post out of “nothing”. Or at least things I would not think of to write about. I´m sure one of these days a story will hit you, and the words will come pouring out. 🙂

  9. great flashback.
    oh yes, you can write. but writing can’t earn you a fortune – unless you happen to be jk rawling. and i saw stuff that you wrote that can beat HP any time – provided it gets finished. there’s still a small matter of getting it published, of course

  10. I loved this, and I’ll bet there are plenty of kids who are glad you went into teaching as well as writing.

    As for catching up, if you learn the secret please pass it on. I’m always five days behind these days; life’s just interfering too much LOL

    1. Susan — I hope so. Many of the posts from my first two years of blogging are classroom anecdotes. I reread a few today. I miss teaching.

  11. I think you could make a book out of “the grown-ups wanted us dead” posts or a stories based on your childhood. You tell those really well.

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