Turning the pen on myself

It was a Monday night and I was just finishing up an hour long Google+ hangout with my professor Brad and another graduate student. We had been discussing different ebook tools we played around with for the week, figuring out what we liked and didn’t like. I could tell we were getting to the end and as I looked at the clock and realized I could make my workout class, I was relieved. I thought too soon.

Brad: “Sara, I need you to stay on and talk for about five more minutes.”

Me: “Uh, okay…”

Brad: “I should have prefaced that with you’re not in trouble.”

Cue sigh of relief.

He wanted to talk about the Invictus Writers. I had heard it mentioned before but knew virtually nothing about it. They are personal stories, something I’ve never written. I’m always writing about other people and telling their story. Not mine.

As soon as he asked me to think about being a part of it, I wanted to shout, “hell yes!” But I’m not one for impulse buys or impulse yeses so I had to keep listening. Since I started graduate school in fall 2013, I’ve had Brad for two classes now so he knows what direction I want to take my career. From the beginning, I’ve kept mentioning I want to publish a book for my final creative project in the program and of course, write as much as possible.

My dream is to write long form journalism for a print or online publication and publish as many books as I can in my lifetime. The Invictus Writers is an opportunity for me to pursue a dream and make it a reality. There was no way I could say no.

I’ve been writing about other people long before I got to college. I enjoy conversing with people, digging deep and hearing things I’m not always prepared to. But I’ve never turned the pen on myself to hear my story.

As we talked, Brad commented that as writers, how can we expect to get intense, emotional stories and ask the tough questions and be ready for those tough answers if we can’t do that to ourselves? Valid point. I don’t usually think about that. Usually I’m just glad I’m the one asking the questions and not having to answer.

About 12 hours later at 8:30 a.m. I found myself in the company of the other writers sipping hot chocolate, ready to talk about each of our possible stories and go through this journey together. I didn’t let a short notice get in the way of dreams. Sure, I could have slept in. My class wasn’t until 12:30 p.m. and I was up late the night before. But the greats never got anywhere by sleeping in and missing out on opportunities and I wasn’t about to let that happen to me.

I’m not sure exactly what I will write about yet, but I do know one thing—it’s time to turn the pen on myself, pursue my dream, and make it happen.