Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Finding Your YOUth Series II

This blog dedicated to everyone who has wondered - what am I going to be when I grow up?

I think I may have had more jobs than anyone I know. I have changed my mind so many times as a teenager then young adult and now even as I am on the hump of my thirties. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I'm getting closer, narrowing it down to a few careers that I am excited about, in love with and even dream about. I am a writer. I have always been a writer. I know this now looking back at all the jobs I have had and realizing that I had the most fun at them when I was either writing something about them, for them or editing the writing already produced on them.

My first published article was about being a junior firefighter. I loved doing that job, but writing about it gave me a greater thrill. I wrote an article in college about the elephants at the Pittsburgh zoo. I enjoyed working with them, but writing about my experience brought me greater joy. So yes, I am a writer.

Knowing this, I went back to school, when my first child was six months old, to earn a degree in creative writing. Still trudging away at that degree six years later, but it's worth it and it keeps me writing.

I write because I love to write. The question to you is what do you love to do? And if it's not what you are doing right now, how can you rectify that? Or do you even want to?

Change is scary. Although I love change, it makes me nervous too. But I look at it this way. I have this one life and I want to experience things, many things, as many things as I can. And I will write about them, share them with my family, my friends, anyone who will read. And I don't know why. Isn't that funny. I know I'm supposed to be a writer and I don't know why. But I do know it was there when I was very young.

I loved to read. And as soon as I could write, I wrote stories. I made up tales and shared them with my younger siblings. I excelled in English classes, Speech classes and Writing classes along with loving Art classes. Any class that allowed me to be creative, I devoured. But alas I did not follow my young dreams. Peer pressure, uninterested parents, lack of a school counselor and my own doubts led me down many paths that never did I truly enjoy.

It wasn't until I had my first child that my old dreams came back to me. As I read to him so many boring picture books I started to believe that I could write better stories than they. I pulled out my year books, searching through them for character ideas and found much more. I saw myself in speech club, and art club. Memories flashed in my mind of creating, of writing, of stories. It came back to me, my dream. I knew, well remembered, what I was supposed to be when I grew up.

So what are you supposed to be? Have you even thought about it in the past ten years? Once our YOUth slips past us many of us forget our dreams. Or we forget how to dream. But what did you dream about when you were a child? Or what did you love to do? If you can't remember, ask your Mom, Dad, Siblings, cousins, or old friends. Someone is bound to say something like, "Wow, you really loved to draw back then." Or "I remember you arguing everything, you always had to be right."

If you really loved to draw, or you argued every point, or if you were fascinated with building things, what does that say about you? Are you in those fields or as far away from them as you could possibly get? Do you still have an interest there?

In any case, you might find a new hobby in that old dream. Take a drawing class, a speech class or a class in creating with clay. Finding that old you, that young you, the you excited about what you could do, will in fact energize yourself and help you recapture your YOUth.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Well, I will be a writer. I will write books, stories, articles. I will send my thoughts and ideas out into the world in the hopes that they reach someone. I hope they inspire someone. I hope to inspire you.

I say if there is a tickle. Something pops into your head. A dream. An idea that won't go away, chase after it. Catch it if you can. Play with it. Learn more about it. And then share it with the world. Experience something new for yourself and for all of us.

Ask yourself - What do you want to be when you grow up? And I hope for you, and for us all, you answer it.

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