If you're born to write, you know it. You may not experience the depths of your passion until you realize you'd rather spend evenings writing than just hanging out with friends, talking much ado about nothing. My defining moment as a writer was my second semester of college when I felt pressed to choose a major. I can remember being torn between becoming a writer or a psychotherapist. Being young in mind, lacking wisdom, I yielded to the former simply because I didn't realize the two realms dividing psychiatry and psychology. I thought anything beginning with psych...involved writing meds for clients, which I, even at 18, knew was not a path I wanted to take. However, looking back decades, I can clearly see how much more sensible choosing the latter yen would have been, simply because if writing is your thing you don't need to spend four years edumacating yourself with logistics.
Writing is an innate quality, that feels to the true writer an all-consuming fire. People often mistake the quiet demeanor of a writer as being introvert; however, usually the quietness is the person doing what real writers do, composing mental drafts of their next or an ongoing project. I have learned to resist writing pages in my head; because, inevitably, I'll just have to rewrite them when I place fingers to the keyboard. Also, I've learned that it is so important to be in the moment where you are planted at a given time. I've learned to keep scratch sheets handy to jot down keywords to jog my memory, or write in 'shorthand' phrases I want to build on. Admittedly sometimes my hand is a bit too short because it can be near impossible to decipher the meanings of phrases written.
In recent years, I did earn a degree associated with psychology; after accepting that my love for helping trumps that of writing. However, one life-purpose can never replace another. Writing serves a special place which proves both exhilarating and exhausting, while on the other hand, helping clients leaves me feeling exhaustingly exhilarated. It's as though one refreshes the other, if that makes sense.
It's that time of year when many are graduating high school and haven't a clue which academic path to take. The good thing is most college students have at least two years to decide, since core courses are pretty standard for most majors. However, when you reach that juncture where you have to decide, and there are two loves tugging at your heart, select the one with the most concrete career path; because, if one of your loves is writing, as is mine, you will always be prepared for this path as long as there is pen, paper or in modern-day vernacular keyboard and computer. Who knows, while completing the more financially-stable path you just may find in your free time that you've written the next bestseller.