"I really like the act of writing; it's the same as painting in that I become engaged in the process of making stuff. What I love is the form and language. Each paragraph is like a puzzle."
Julie Otsuka graduated with a bachelor's degree in art in 1984. Thinking she would have a career in art, she entered the MFA program at Indiana University and quit after 3 months. After struggling with what she wanted to do with her life, she switched to writing and her first novel, When the Emperor Was Divine, was published in 2002.
Sometimes we think we know where we want to go in life, but events and circumstances can and will alter our course. When I was a sophomore in high school, I committed to being a preacher. By the time I was a senior, I had rejected the faith of my parents. I turned instead to writing, hoping one day to be successful. Instead for almost 25 years, I have spent my time and energy as a speaker, a preacher variation.
Have you traveled the roads that you thought you would travel when you were 18? What surprises did you not anticipate? What impact have these changes had on your creative expression? How many times have you changed careers? Where do you see yourself tomorrow?