If you weren't a writer what would you be?
Q&A With Shay Each Sunday
Q: If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A: I really don’t know. I am also an editor for other writers (check out my services if you need one!), but that’s obviously extremely writing-related. At times, I almost feel like it’s too writing-related, which you would think would always be a good thing and in many ways it is. Writing is my love, after all, so I’m very fortunate I get to work on others’ writing for work. However, sometimes it feels like if I had a more consistent day-to-day job then I could pour all my creative thinking into my own writing. There are pros and cons as there are with anything. I also spend a lot of time shut away with my computer, which is always what I wanted (shy introvert) but it can also feel isolated. So, I may branch out into other career paths at some point (obviously while maintaining the writing), but I guess I really would have to consider what else I could or would want to be.
When I was younger, I, of course, wanted to be a professional tennis player. I spent my whole life/childhood up until about age 20-22 training for tennis. There were some times during my elementary/middle school years where I didn't devote quite as much time to tennis. I enjoyed other sports and activities, but by age 14 or so I was all in on tennis. I trained for hours everyday and even moved away to finish high school at Chris Evert tennis academy in Florida before playing college tennis at Tulane. I’d say I recognized by 18 that I probably wouldn't be giving pro tennis a shot, but there were a few years in college where I still didn't know what I wanted to do—I was basically just still playing tennis, focusing on my classes and social life, so thinking beyond college wasn't a priority at that moment.
So, other than tennis and writing, what skills did I have? I know I had written in some journals when I was a child that I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Not really sure what that was all about—I mean, dolphins are awesome but I don't have any knowledge about them or marine life or science or anything. I probably copied my sister on that one because I’m pretty sure she declared she wanted to be a dolphin trainer first, so I was like yeah, dolphins are awesome, me too.
I also wrote that I wanted to be a singer. That’s pretty funny given that A.) I do not have a good singing voice. B.) I was selective mute and couldn't even talk to anyone, let alone sing!
So, looking at my skills realistically now, what else would I be? I would probably still do something that either related to books or writing of some sort. I’d probably either be a librarian, bookseller, or work in an office. I did work in a library once and I found it fairly boring, though I also appreciated the quiet and time with the books. I wasn't a librarian though so that might be a more fun aspect of the library than what I was doing there. I don't know if I would really think about any of these jobs if I weren’t already a writer though. I feel like the fact that I’m a writer plays into any other professional calling.
I think considering law was thrown into the mix at some point, and I might have been good at that. I know that a lot of lawyers have English and writing backgrounds, but there was something about it that never appealed to me much further. It was probably because I pictured having to go up in front of a judge and a bunch of people and literally argue, which is something I avoid in everyday life at all costs.
Now, let’s throw realism and skills aside. What would I want to be if I could be anything? I think it would definitely still be something within the arts—probably musical. That singing allure is still real! That’s clearly not me though. I also really admire acting, but I am WAY too self-conscious.
Maybe if I wasn't thinking of my writing skills and actually wanted to start over with something else from a college age I would go into psychology. I like the idea of counseling people and helping those with matters of the heart and mind. I would have also liked to study to be a doctor or nutritionist if I had a science inkling. Health is important to me and I’m not squeamish at all, but unfortunately I don't have a science brain.
Really, for me, with my temperament, and my skills, being a writer is all I can imagine at this stage of my life, when thinking about true passion beyond just having a job. I might look into other avenues, but realistically they would play into my writing, analytical, and quiet thinking skills. Being a writer is what I feel, at this point, I was meant to do.
What else would you be if weren’t doing what you were doing now?