The roads not traveled

One of our fall projects was to clean out the garden shed/storage unit in the back yard. Under one table we found boxes of old documents I meant to sort through before we moved here in 2012, but it was easier to toss them in a box to deal with “later.”

Almost everything could have been shredded and/or burned before the move, but buried in the mix were such treasures as my March 1982 edition of Writer’s Digest with the cover story, “How to sell your self-published book.”

Yes, I had those ambitions way back when. And in the same old file I found my short- and long-term goals for 1987. Right up on top: “Quit the day job and become a full-time writer by Jan. 1, 1990.”

I admit I grew a tad melancholy as I watched those long-ago goals go up in smoke with my tax returns and bank statements from the 1990s and early 2000s. Thirty years past the deadline, don’t ya know.

But then I remembered that I did love that day job, which I held until 1996, and then I embarked on other adventures, including my all-time favorite day job from 2002 to 2007, which I loved so much I finagled an encore from 2010 to 2016.

And I did eventually publish my own books as a part-time venture — starting in 2008 with The Imaginary Bomb and Myke Phoenix, which … wait … I began to write between 1987 and 1990 when I was dreaming about doing it full time, so it’s not like I was slacking off.

And all of those day jobs – before and since – involved, well, writing. So, although I have had day jobs all along, I have (ahem) been a full-time writer all these years. What on earth was making me melancholy?

Try not to get hung up on what might have happened if your dreams had come true just the way you dreamed them. You might find, as I did, that what came true was all that and more.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

One thought on “The roads not traveled

  1. Those day jobs for both of us were very rewarding (not monetarily of course) but in important ways. They were a far cry from the “journalism” of today and I like to think we provided a valuable service to our communities. I count it an honor to call you my friend. Rick C.

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