Authors Answer 64 – Authors’ Childhood Dream Jobs

Did authors always want to grow up to be authors? Some did, of course. But most probably didn’t think of writing as a profession that they wanted to do. There’s a wide variety of jobs, and most probably wanted to do something entirely different.

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Question 64 – When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Linda G. Hill

I always wanted to be a veterinarian, probably because I read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot at a young age. But come high school I took physics instead of biology because I couldn’t stand the thought of dissecting a frog. By that time I was much more interested in human psychology anyway. Though I never went to university to study what makes people do the things they do, psychology continues to fascinate me.

Allen Tiffany

First a scuba diver, then a soldier (an infantryman). I became a soldier – which I greatly enjoyed – and then transitioned to the business world. Along the way, I’ve always written (baring one 15-year hiatus), but I’ve never thought of writing as something one does for a living, and I still don’t. I don’t think I’d enjoy writing for a living. I fear the need to produce to generate income would drive me to first think about writing to sell rather than writing from the heart.

D. T. Nova

A paleontologist. I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs, and when I was a kid I wanted to discover one.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

What didn’t I want to be when I grew up? I changed my mind multiple times throughout my childhood. The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a nurse, but only because as a child I misunderstood my mom’s job and wanted to be what she was (she was actually a personal care worker at an old folk’s residence). As I got a little older I got big into writing stories and determined that I wanted to be a writer, but then I also got big into drawing and fancied myself as a future cartoonist. At some point I also figured I was going to be a famous singer. Eventually my aspirations became a little more typical…I basically figured I’d be doing something in “technology”, which at the time meant I imagined myself sitting at a computer all day. But the one thing that I never let go of was that I knew I was going to be some kind of writer, even if it wasn’t my actual job, but more of a side-thing.

Paul B. Spence

An astronaut, but then I got too big. I’m just a little too tall. I also wanted to study dinosaurs, which I have. I have a degree in geology and have worked at a dinosaur bone quarry and at a museum working with dinosaur remains. I’ve always liked archaeology and ancient cultures, so my current career as an archaeologist suits me just fine. Of course, I always wanted to be a writer, too.

H. Anthe Davis

A writer.  Tada!

Seriously.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted, and though I’ve tried many other arts and sampled many fields of science, it all comes back to just writing.  I read and research and travel and interact all so that I can put everything I’ve learned back into the story.

Eric Wood

I only remember deciding to be a teacher in sixth grade. A friend and I were really into the American Civil War and loved history. I didn’t know what I could do with history other than teach it. So, at the ripe old age of 11 I decided to be a teacher. 11 years after that, I was. Before that, I don’t remember.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I never settled on this for sure until I was out of high school.  One idea that I always came back to was cooking, and that helped me decide to go to culinary school and work to become a chef.  Writing is great, but I never expected it to pay the bills especially at my pace.

Jean Davis

I wanted to be a teacher and played school with my little sister all the time. That didn’t work out so well though because by the time I was in high school, I realized I didn’t like dealing with people, and other people’s kids drove me nuts.

Gregory S. Close

A Jedi, a pilot like Han Solo, or possibly some Jedi space pirate pilot combination.  Obi Han Solo, perhaps.  Shortly after the realization that these were unlikely professions in our galaxy, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I guess that notion stuck with me over the years!

S. R. Carrillo

I wanted to be a published author. I also wanted to join the military. I give myself credit for achieving both of those goals before the age of 21. Or thereabout hahah.

Jay Dee Archer

I see I’m not alone in this, as I also wanted to be a palaeontologist. Well, I also wanted to be an astronomer. But I lived in Alberta, which is one of the best places to find dinosaur fossils and is home to one of the best dinosaur museums in the world. I loved reading about dinosaurs, and even took pictures of the skulls and skeletons and traced over them, trying to make more realistic pictures of them. As for astronomy, I was fascinated with space from an early age, and imagined discovering new things and studying the planets. By the time the end of high school came around, I had to make a decision. Those two passions stayed with me and are still two of my favourite things to study. I chose astronomy, even though I never worked as a professional astronomer. Sometimes, I think that if I ever go back to university, I’ll study geology with a minor in palaeontology.

How about you?

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child? Did you become what you wanted? Let us know in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “Authors Answer 64 – Authors’ Childhood Dream Jobs”

  1. I would love to go to university to study English. And/or psychology. Still a possibility, right? I can imagine there are some great programs out in Alberta for what you want to study.
    Have you bought your plane tickets yet? Must be getting close!

    1. We’ve had the plane tickets for months now. It’s feeling very close now. Less than 2 months of work left.

      The University of Alberta is one of the biggest universities in Canada (like top 3, I think), and is a big research university with a big hospital, nanotechnology research facility, and has a great palaeontology program. I’d love to join it. And I want Philip Currie to be my professor just once.

  2. My story is a bit odd as I started on my chosen career path when I was still a child. I wanted to be an organist and started substituting in my small country church when I was twelve. I studied music in college and worked as a church musician for a few years before taking a break to concentrate on our children. I went back to church music, mostly as a volunteer in my parish, but developed orthopedic problems that eventually led to my not being able to play keyboard for any length of time.

    Now, I am a poet. I started to publish last year. Maybe, one day, I will publish in a journal that pays a few dollars, so I can claim I am a professional!

    1. So, you started early and ended up pretty much where you were trying to get to? That doesn’t happen often. I work in an industry that has absolutely nothing to do with my degree.

      I’d say that once you get paid, you’re a pro 🙂

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