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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Chandler Baker! She's the debut author of a book coming out soon, Alive, and I'm thrilled to have her on my blog today.
With a post that's very relatable to me, here's Chandler talking about what she wanted to become when she was younger.
But first, a little about teen me: Teen-me was very conscientious, obsessed with researching colleges, an avid rule follower, shy in large groups, and, above all else, very practical. So when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was quick to push aside my deep passion for books and, with it, what felt like more aspirational, less finite goals of becoming a writer, in favor of more concrete goals of becoming, say, a lawyer, a doctor, or a lobbyist. Those vocations had career paths. There were schools I could go to. They felt more grounded. I could create checklists, for goodness sake!
Moreover, when I heard the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I heard the implied request for a single answer. I would have to choose one thing to be. Growing up to me meant, at least in part, a narrowing of possibilities. Each step I planned to take would close doors and eventually I would wind up at the end of my own ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novel having become [insert practical career choice here]. Voilà! That was adulthood in a nutshell to me.
And to be honest, that’s exactly what I did. I went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, I applied for law school, I attended the University of Texas, I became a lawyer. But along the way, I found that doors didn’t close. They stayed just slightly ajar. Enough to slip through. I could be not just one thing, but multiple things, if only I were willing to find the time.
Thankfully, my love for books continued to call to me. By senior year of college, I’d written a book and a half. By my first year of law school, I had an agent. By second year of law school, I was ghostwriting books for book packagers and making money writing while attending law school. But as law school graduation approached and I prepared to enter law firm life, I thought surely my writing days were numbered.
Still, by now, I’d learned not to assume that the doors would close automatically, not to assume that I could only be one thing. And so in that spirit, I turned in a ghostwritten book on deadline one week before I took (and passed) the bar exam. I worked for a year at a law firm and two weeks before my wedding, I turned in a book to my agent that would sell later that year to Disney-Hyperion and become my first published novel, Alive.
I’ve gone from student, to law student, to lawyer, to hired writer, to author and I couldn’t be happier that I haven’t yet had to choose that one thing to be when I grow up. Now, as I wait for my first child to arrive one month after the publication of Alive, I’m ready to add another hat to the mix—mother—and now I can’t wait to share both of my debuts with the world this summer!
Wow. I really related to this, and I hope you do/did too. If you've found where you're happy, share your story! If you're like me and still trying to figure out what I want to "be," then high five. We're in this together!
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Thanks for checking out my blog and remember: Be kind to one another. - Ellen
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Oh hey. I’m Chandler Baker (formerly-and-quite-recently known as Chandler Craig). I’m a twenty-something lawyer, author of young adult and middle grade fiction and dedicated nerdfighter. In 2011, I graduated law school from the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to that, I attended the University of Pennsylvania, where I graduated early so that I could take time off to try my hand at this whole writing thing. So far, so good.
I like morbid facts, watching scary movies through my fingers, thai food, Eminem and very high heels.
My debut novel, ALIVE, will be out sometime in 2015 from Disney-Hyperion.
Thanks so much to Chandler for donating sneak preview booklets + swag for two winners! Twice the fun, right? Want more? Click here to enter to win a copy of Alive! You won't regret it. <3
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