I answered her quickly, saying the only thing that made sense to me. “But I’ve never been bitten!” I replied. It’s true, there were a lot of things I enjoyed and even loved about radio. Putting together a commercial or imaging spot that I once heard in my head was actually fun for me. Piecing it together was a creative thing that many people said I did well. Taking phone calls when I was on the air and playing songs for people who really needed to hear them was enjoyable as well. I used to joke that I even had a face for radio. I don’t really believe there is any such thing because everyone is beautiful and made just the way they were meant to be. However, I did indeed have a voice for radio…a lower female voice with no accent…it worked well anywhere in the country.
When the radio station was sold at one point, many people left and some were not asked to return. I, luckily, held on to my job, but I gained a new boss. She and I were sitting in her office one day in the brand new studios the new owners built, exchanging backgrounds. We talked about how we each got into radio. I told her my story and towards the end, I said something to the effect of: “And that’s how I got stuck in radio.” She got a funny look on her face and said, “Huh, I’ve never felt that way!” It was at that point that I realized I just said out loud how I really felt about being in radio. Though I enjoyed so many aspects of it and I was even good at many parts of it, I felt stuck. The radio bug had never bitten me. I was not where I ultimately belonged.
When my first daughter was born, I kept my foot in the door in radio, working on a very part time basis with the hopes that when she went to school someday, I could go back. I left my part time position when I finally admitted to myself that I didn’t want to go back. Radio wasn’t where I was meant to be, in the end.
After I left radio, I really had no idea where to go. I loved staying home with my daughter and playing with her all day long, but I needed something that was all my own as well. Since I always loved writing, it made sense that a “job” and writing should go together. I began searching the Internet for writing jobs. I found a few here and there and one thing led to another.
Back in my radio days, a manager walked by my office and then backtracked, sticking his head in the door. He slowly moved over to my desk and looked over my shoulder to read what I was typing. “Wow,” he said as he saw I was typing real words, “I figured you were just in here hitting buttons as fast as you could to impress people. I didn’t know anyone could type that fast.” It’s true, I can type about as fast as I can think, which can be very dangerous. But I know now that when I am typing, whether it’s an email, a script for a radio spot, an article, or a novel, I am happy.
Many people say that exercise makes them feel better. They work out because they feel healthy and they have more energy because of it. While I believe this wholeheartedly, I also feel that writing does something similar for me. I write because on the days I have written something that really works, I simply feel better. I have more energy because I am excited about a story. I am a better mom because I have something to call my own, no matter how small and even if I only had 5 minutes to work on it.
I write because, as my radio friend once said, I have been bitten by the writing bug. To me, there is no getting away from it. I am not “stuck” with writing. It is where I want to be and where I always should have been. It is as much home to me as the house in which I live.
And so, while I hope that those who read what I write in articles, books and so forth enjoy what they read, much of what I have written is as much about the process of writing it. Writing is not drudgery. It cannot be forced. It is something I enjoy and I only write on the days that I enjoy it. And that is why I write every day…assuming the 4-year-old little girl and 6-month-old baby allow…