I am posting this now so our friends in the earlier time zones can inspire the rest of us!
Think back to when you were a child. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn't have a lot of thoughts on the subject until I was probably 10 years old and started reading the newspaper--in southern California. Humorist Erma Bombeck helped my mother and I relate to one another (which we normally didn't do). My mother enjoyed the Mom's perspective, while I enjoyed the daughter's. It also helped us understand one another a tiny bit. Erma's column inspired me to read the rest of the paper...and I decided I wanted to be a writer.
I wrote volumes of stories, poems and "investigative" pieces as I tried to understand my life and family. Unfortunately, whenever I said I wanted to be a writer, my family and teachers laughed--as if I had said "fairy princess." I started saying teacher, nurse, or some other acceptable answer for a girl.
I got married and moved to Dayton, Ohio (home of Erma Bombeck). In college, I studied English and writing, and got two degrees. I then taught at Wright State University and University of Dayton (where Bombeck went to school). I wrote for the Dayton Daily News (where Bombeck became a nationally syndicated columnist).
Weirdly, at one point I was shopping for a house--and almost bought the old house where Erma Bombeck lived as she was writing the columns that inspired me to become a writer. I regret that I didn't buy it. Still, I am nearly 60 and have had a great career as a writer--so regardless of the pressure to conform to what others thought--I actually pursued my dream.
Now, I still have goals (to write a book under my own name) and to write some Erma Bombeck-like humor. A framed, signed photo of Erma sits on my wall to inspire me, so there is still time!
How about you?
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