Monday, February 4, 2008

All in the Family

The other day, my 9-year-old son told his dad he wanted to be a writer when he grew up. My husband relayed this to me in the terms of "oh great, another kid who is not going to make any money when he grows up."

Just prior to my son's disclosure, my 13-year-old had mentioned she wants to train horses for a living. And the thing is, (and maybe Heather can correct me), my understanding is that the pay for training horses is not something that makes a living. It is something you do to supplement a living.

While I agree my daughter would be better served in pursuing another career and raising horses on the side, I am not so disillusioned with my son's aspiration to be a writer. He loves to read, and he has a creative mind. He is constantly looking at things in a new way, and he has always found words fascinating.

I remember one time, at a very young age, he asked me what "wife" meant. He was so young he was in a car seat. I was driving, and I went into this long explanation of the roles of husband and wife and marriage. When I finished, he said, "Hmmm. I wonder what they mean by "run for your wife." That's right. He was also young enough that he couldn't pronounce the l in life.

So, after my husband telling me this, I took the very next opportunity to explore this career alternative with my son.

Me: "I heard you want to be a writer."

Him (excitement in his voice and a glimmer in his eyes): "I want to be an author. When I grow up, I am going to be an author."

Me (missing the all-important word change from writer to author): You know, you don't have to wait until you grow up to be a writer. You can start writing now.

Justin: I don't want to be that kind of writer.

Me: What kind of writer do you want to be?

Justin: I want to be an author. I want to sit in libraries and autograph books.

Me: (laughter, lots of uncontrollable laughter).....


Suzanne Lieurance said...


How funny! :)

Unfortunately, so many people want to be "authors" -just like your son. The kind who don't write anything other than their autograph and best wishes inside a book cover.

And these are ADULTS!

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach

Kai said...

lol...I used to think that. I tell you what, I actually prefer the reality - I love writing, I love meeting new people, and I love everything that writing 'brings' me. I love, most of all, giving all of that, and more, back.

Serenity Now! said...


Well training horses would be great to "supplement" a living... if you had time to do anything else.

When I trained overseas I worked from 7 am - 9 pm, 6.5 days a week!

But I loved it and found it very rewarding... even more rewarding that writing, by the way. And if you're good, you can go pretty far!

And hey, there are fewer horse trainers than writers out there!