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Writer Wednesday- What you wanted to be when you grew up.

Posted May 10 2016, 2:00 pm



This week’s Writer Wednesdays asks what you wanted to be when you grew up.


I remember thinking I wanted to be a teacher when I was in elementary school because I really loved so many of mine. Or maybe a writer because I loved to read. But then as I got older and started playing tennis, I decided I was going to be a professional tennis player—because how hard could that be, right?


I took a few lessons and was told I had a very nice serve, but that I needed to work on my groundstrokes. So after school each day, I’d go stand in front of a backboard and hit for hours. When I was stuck on my grandparents farm in Iowa one summer, I used to go out and hit the tennis ball against the slatted corn crib wall, having to aim so I’d hit the wood squarely between the cracks, or the ball would take strange bounces and I’d sometimes have to chase it into the pigpen. I think my accuracy improved ten fold that summer because pigpens smell and leave yucky stains on the ball and I only had one can with me.

When in high school, I was in concert band and we were required to be in marching band unless we went out for a sport, so this was my opportunity to join the tennis team. The weekend before the try-outs, I asked my older brother to hit with me to help me prepare.  During the intense battle that only siblings can have, I twisted my ankle so badly that it tore ligaments, swelled to the size of a grapefruit,  and I ended up on crutches for many weeks. The doctor told me the damage was bad enough that trying out for the tennis team was out of the question, much less ever playing on a more competitive level later.  So once I healed enough to walk, I had to go back to marching band practice after school. And since I’d missed so many weeks of the football season at that point, I was busted down from first chair snare drummer to playing the dreaded cymbals!

So as the overly dramatic high school aged girl I was, I assumed my life was forever doomed to mediocrity and I’d never live my dream.

Well, a few years later I met someone who showed me how to build up muscles around the damage in my ankle and I started playing tennis again in a competitive city league. It was then that I realized I was an okay tennis player, but I would have NEVER been good enough to be a pro, so I just enjoyed playing on my tennis team with other mommies for many years.

Somewhere in the process of raising my kids, and working full time, I decided I wanted to be a published author—because how hard could that be, right?

After many years of rejections, I finally became a published author last year. And I’ve just recently published my fourth book. So NOW I’m living my dream, it just took me a path change, an attitude adjustment, and a few years longer than I expected. :0) 


How about you? Did you end up doing what you thought you would?  


Here’s what a few of my writer friends had to say:


Fellow contemporary romance writer Priscilla Oliveras   | Paranormal romance writers Kay Hudson  Romantic suspense writers Carol Post Sharon Wray |    | Young adult romance writer TL Sumner






14 responses to “Writer Wednesday- What you wanted to be when you grew up.”

  1. Tammy, I was surprised when I read what that initial doctor had said about you never being able to play competitively again. Maybe not at the Pro level, but at the local level? So happy to hear you got some good PT advice from someone different!

    I didn’t know you played tennis– too bad we never have time at RWA national. I’d love to play, though I’m only a “for fun” player so you’d probably wipe the court with me. But that’s okay. 🙂

    As a fan of your writing, I can honestly say I’m thrilled you stuck with it! This road to publication that we’re all on, in one way or another, isn’t easy. But the rewards, when we get them, are worth it!


  2. Carol Post says:

    Great post, Tammy. I’m glad you got your ankle strengthened and were able to play again. My mother-in-law was a tennis pro (played in the US Open many years ago), and my husband was on the tennis team. A year and a half ago, he started teaching me. I loved it. Then he injured his knee, had arthroscopic surgery and has never been able to go back to it. We keep hoping eventually he’ll be able to play, at least for fun. If we found one more person, you Priscilla and I could play doubles, except I’m sure both of you would wipe the court with me!

  3. Kay Hudson says:

    As the ultimate klutz, I admire your desire to pursue tennis–the only sport I was ever good at was basketball, and that was only because I was taller than most of my PE class. Funny the detours we all went through to get to wherever we are today.

  4. Sharon Wray says:

    Loved your post, Tammy. I used to be an ice skater (outside on a lake in the northwest NJ mountains) when I hurt my ankle for the first time. Since then, I’ve had a number of serious strains and twists so I don’t even skate anymore just for fun. But reading your post reminded me how sad I was when I realized I was never a good ice skater anyway. It was sad, but it freed me up to try new things. Like writing!

    • Yes, my ankle used to give out at the worst times too, until I started using the right machines to strengthen it. Even now, I can’t wear heels for too long or I risk another mishap. :0)

      But yes, tennis wasn’t the answer for me as skating wasn’t for you, but look at us now, doing what we were meant to do–write! Stuff tends to work itself out in life, no?

  5. TL Sumner says:

    I enjoyed your post Tamra. And darn those sports injuries! That’s great that you were still able to ultimately play tennis again. Congrats on your fourth book. That’s awesome that you’re living your dream.

  6. Great story, HEA and all.

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