March 27, 2010

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Hobbies — ccassello @ 3:05 pm
Okay, I said was going to go into more detail about my background.  As I had said, I was giving up on the idea that I could really be a writer, but when I turned in an essay in high school and not only got a good grade but a written comment that I may have the talent to make a career of it, I was excited.  I was not just imaging that I had the talent, this teacher thought so too.  But, where would I ever get good ideas to write about?  I couldn’t come up with any.  I was getting discouraged again.   At this time I was also trying to determine what God wanted me to do with my life and was considering going into a full-time ministry. I was a Christian and was taught that the talents we had were given to us by God to be used for sharing the gospel message. I wondered if He wanted me to become a Christian writer.  In a study hall one day I prayed and said I needed a sign.  If God wanted me to write for Him, He would need to give me something to write about.  I began to think of the last words Jesus spoke on the cross, particularly "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," and I began to write.  I wrote a poem called, "Father Forgive Them" which is still my favorite.  This was the sign I had asked for, I was sure of it.  I was to become a Christian writer.  .Around this time I found out about a Christian correspondence course in writing and I thought that would get me started.  They also were supposed to help students of the course get jobs as writers.  I enrolled and took two courses from them, a basic course and a more advanced one.  I wrote a couple of short stories in the course but I could not find a publisher that would accept them.  I also could not get work in any profession where I could use my writing, so I just went to look for any job.  I thought I would have to do my writing part-time as a freelancer.  After trying a couple of jobs I failed at, when employment agencies worked for the worker not the companies, I was finally able to stay at one at Chicago-Kent College of Law, which has now become a part of IIT.  The professor was impressed with the way I could express myself in writing, and I got along very well with my co-workers. I told them of my real desire and let them read some of what I wrote I think. There were just a few of us, which was just right for me.  I was happy working there and a Jewish young man asked why I was so happy and I talked to him about my religious beliefs.  He was very respectful and curious about Christianity.   I was more interested in writing than in the job, which was becoming boring.  In down time, I would write and sometimes it would affect my performance.  I would be late getting back from a lunch break for example.  I was on the verge of being fired, but I quit before that.  This seems like a good stopping point for today.  I will continue it tomorrow.   

It’s Never Too Late!

Filed under: Hobbies — ccassello @ 12:08 am
I have just come from seeing the movie Julie and Julia and I was thinking of how I would like to start a blog the way Julie did and hopefully someday I too would be asked to write a book.  My problem is that I had no idea what I knew enough about, or had enough interest in to make an interesting blog.  Then, I came up with my subject, "It’s never too late," to follow a dream.  That is what I am in the processing of doing now at the age of 64.  Since I retired at the age of 62, I have regained an interest in a childhood dream of mine.

Even in elementary school I had the idea that I would like to be a writer.  English was my favorite school subject.  I loved writing essays, but would do them at the last minute because I did not like doing research.  I received my best grades in English classes and got A’s, B+ and rarely B- on my essays.  My friends and I would often make up our own stories based on TV shows and movies that we saw and I would entertain them with stories and puppet shows.  I put together a little book of some poems and I wrote a play.
By the time I was in high school I was having doubts about my ability to achieve that dream.  We were told we had to write about what we knew and as I led a very sheltered, boring life, I felt that I did not know enough.  My interests were too diverse to narrow down to specialize in any one field and I took liberal arts.  A reason I did not like to do research was that it would become so interesting if it was a subject that I liked that I would get off the track.  I had trouble deciding what approach to take and what facts to use.
My parents could not afford to send me to a four year college and did not feel that it was necessary and neither did I at the time.  I had read many times about writers who did freelance writing without having college degrees and I thought I would rather do that.  My parents encouraged me to go to junior college, which gave two years of college courses, and then get a job and save my money if I wanted to go on to a full four year college. I found out the the junior college was really teaching us what we should have learned in high school and much of the credits earned there were not transferable to other colleges.  I did take correspondence courses in writing while in school, but could not get any job in journalism, radio or television without having a college degree or being a student studying that field, so I had given up the idea.
I’ll save more of my story for a later blog, but for now I will say that I am writing again and enjoying it.  I want to encourage other senior citizens who may have had dreams that they gave up on to go back to those dreams and give them a chance.  It’s never too late!     

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