Thursday, December 21, 2006

On Writing

Something my dad said in an e-mail got me thinking. He said that if I ever decided to give up life as a scientist I should go into writing. I enjoy writing, I enjoy the process, the editing, the creating. My grammar could use help most days. And I thank goodness for the spell checker. But nonetheless, I love doing it. I have never known if it is one of those things that I would love as a profession, or grow to despise doing and resent turning a hobby into a job. I guess lucky for me, I have plenty of opportunities to write in my current position, it is just boring technical writing.

I went through a phase in junior high. You know that phase, the one where boys suddenly exist and it is no longer cool to be the smart one? I asked my dad for a typewriter for Christmas, much to my step-brothers horror… why would anyone ask for a typewriter instead of some cool toy? I got it and pounded out story after story on that thing for a few years in the name of preparing for my life as a writer. I still have the typewriter and every time AB suggests it hit the dumpster I come up with excuses along the lines of “you never know when you might need to type something up that you can’t use a computer for”. That excuse is soon becoming the relic that my typewriter is. I am not sure I can even get replacement ribbon for it anymore.

That typewriter was going to make me into a famous author one day! I had dreams of writing novels that would make the best seller lists. That dream faded, but not completely. I still think how cool it would be to be a novelist. Particularly as I sit at my desk and daydream about how cool any other job in the world would be then the one I have.

Unlike many of my counterparts in science, one of the most enjoyable parts of graduate school was writing my dissertation. It took a lot of focus, but I really did enjoy it. I still look longingly at the occasional ad in my Chemical and Engineering News that seek professional, full time scientific editors/writers for large journals. If telecommuting ever became a mainstay for that type of position (since moving my Alaskan husband to a large metro area like New York is out of the question) I would be hard pressed not to take the leap.

Time… that is what I am lacking. Ambition… I have an overabundance.

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