I'm a retired bureaucrat (having served, most recently, as an Assistant Commissioner in a municipal agency in a major Northeastern American city). In 2002 I took an early retirement to pursue a lifelong love of writing, having previously written and published an historical novel (1998) about Vikings and Indians in eleventh century North America:
The King of Vinland's Saga
Since then I have edited one book (Bitter Freedom: Memoirs of a Holocaust Survivor) and written another, the true story of a fifteen year old girl fleeing the Nazis and the Holocaust in eastern Poland during World War II (A Raft on the River). I've coordinated a Viking ship extravaganza in 2000 and two literary festivals in 2007 and 2008. I write a bi-weekly column for two local newspapers and I'm currently working on a new novel which I hope will be done by the summer. (Not about Vikings or Holocaust survivors.)
As a youngster, my aim was to be the next Hemingway though I got sidetracked in college when I fell in love with philosophy instead of literature. In the end, however, I chose the civil service over the academy and gave up philosophy and writing, both, for bureaucracy when my wife told me we were expecting and to stop mucking around and get a real job.
When we're young, everything seems possible but I have long since learned that Hemingway alone was the "next Hemingway" as Ludwig Wittgenstein (the renowned Cambridge philosopher who hailed from pre-World War I Vienna and a favorite thinker of mine) was the next Wittgenstein. We are each of us sui generis and I have learned to content myself with being the next me. I continue to write in hopes of making that count for something.