All Over Again

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sometimes I wonder "If I had it to do it all over again, would I do it the same way?" Having just graduated law school, I've spent a majority of my summer studying for the bar and questioning if I really want to be a lawyer (although not in the typical "I hate the law, I don't know why I did  this" kind of way). I mean, sure, I enjoy it. Specifically, the securities world excites me, and the more I learn about it, the more tasks I complete, the more I realize just how much I could see this being my life. And that's reassuring, definitely.

But then I think about all the other things I enjoy doing (insert typical girly things like makeup and fashion, as well as exercising, music and baking); writing being the most important of them of them. I've always lived for writing. But I can't really say that, can I? Because I don't actually live it. I write something everyday, but it isn't my livelihood. In high school, my father and I would argue about my career choice and those arguments generally ended with something like "Writer is not a valid career choice." However, back then, nothing could deter me. I was going to write a best seller and write a clause into my will denying all filmakers the movie rights (Salinger much?). When I learned that JK Rowling lived out of her car for a year, I thought "Well that's not so bad." I created these characters that lived apart from the page and I truly enjoyed writing their inspired stories. I chose Journalism as my major when entering university, later switching to Comparative Literature and then English and then finally got the nerve to declare Creative Writing. And then, well, I just stopped. I don't know how or when, and I surely can't remember why. But somewhere along the line the intense dream, one I had once considered an inevitable reality, just drifted away.

So I suppose I just regret not really trying to be a writer. I mean a balls-to-the-wall-everything-on-the-line shot at a "writer" job title. Sure, I can still write. I mean, who's stopping me, right? But even if I did, even if I published my own book or ended up writing a column in the New York Times or something, I'd still be a lawyer who writes - not a writer, period.  I wish it was as simple as saying that it was my parents' fault, parents who pushed me to choose a practical career (one of which was an eye doctor - ew!). The truth is that me not taking that shot, it was my fault. I didn't believe in myself. And that's such a sad realization to come to.


  1. I can't tell you enough how much I can relate to this. I've always wanted to be a writer - ever since I was eight years old. My dream was to be a writer living in New York - publish my first bestseller before I was thirty. I majored in Creative Writing, and planned to get my MFA. I wanted to spend my days walking the streets of New York, reading at Washington Square Park (one of my fave spots) and returning to my apartment to write while I looked out at the New York skyline.

    But, then, I went to law school. In Los Angeles. Where I've lived for most of my life, and could never seem to leave.

    I also wanted to be a lawyer, so it wasn't a choice that just came out of nowhere. I just thought that I could be a lawyer and a writer. I really believed that I could do both. My career choices were always geared towards that goal. But, this year marks ten years since I passed the Bar exam, and I still haven't completed my novel. Not even a flash fiction story. So, I questioned my decision of choosing law many, many, times. As I write this, it still lingers around in my head. But, not so heavily as before. After much soul searching, I've found that I am happy that I pursued law because I know that no matter what, I'm also a writer. I'm just a lawyer, too.

    I want to share with you something an author recently said to me after I told her I was "trying to write a novel." She said, "Don't say you're trying to write a novel. You are writing a novel. You're a writer. Embrace that. Own that. It doesn't matter whether you never publish a piece of work or you publish a hundred pieces, you're a writer."

    And you're a writer, too. Yes, you're a lawyer who is a writer, but that doesn't make you any less of a writer.

    By the way, I've been enjoying your posts. I love your voice and writing, so hopefully, you continue writing even when that Bar results come and you start practicing law. :)

  2. Great post. I think the struggle comes with what we consider to be a success.. to you being a "writer" doesn't include a life where you practice law and write on the side. But I will say in just reading some of your posts, you are great writer. You have a way with words and making them come alive with feeling and bringing understanding to your readers. So I say start believing you are a writer. Sure you may not have taken the path that you thought you should, but that's what is so great about life. Often it comes out better than we could have ever dreamed it up to be. You get to write and practice law. Enjoy it, embrace it, keep going with it!

    New follower!

  3. I absolutely love your blog and I'm so glad you followed me thus helping me discover you ! You seem so classy and well spoken :)

    If you don't mind my asking, what law school did you attend in NY and what area of law are you thinking of going into?? It's always good to hear from other law students/recent grads :)

  4. First of all, it's incredible you're already done with law school at 25! That's insane. I'm turning 25 this weekend and am only halfway through my Master's program. Good for you, girl! But other than that, I can completely relate to this post 10000% and ironically I was just texting a good friend ranting about how I just "want to be a writer," which seems to be the ongoing rant that is the essence of my life lately. I, too, was deterred from a writing career. But unlike you, I didn't initially go to school for it. I was told by my parents that although I was a talented writer, it was just a hobby, not a career. And IF I made it my career, it would have to be after I had a "real" career - whatever that meant. So I took a creative writing course in college, landed a few writing gigs here and there. And sure, I blog and write fairly regularly. But again, at the end of the day and at the end of my Master's program, I will be a Mental Health Counselor who writes on the side, New York Times Best Sellers and awards won't change that. And a part of me is bitter about that, but the other part of me still wants to try and see. And I think you should too. Like I said from that little excerpt you posted, I can already tell you're a phenomenal writer other than being a great blog writer. I think there's a difference. But anyways, now that this is turning out to be a draft of a novel, I'll leave you with those thoughts. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way though. So thank you for that.

    xo Jackie


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