This post is for all the other writers out there who are frustrated like crazy. Sorry I probably won’t be able to offer you any solid advice, but maybe my thoughts will offer you some solace, or some nugget of wisdom.
I’m having career issues. I’m at a crossroads, and I’ve gone from one road to the other twenty times and back, trying to make sense of what the hell it is I’m supposed to do in this life.
I want to write. I know that. I live that. But society tells me I need a real job. No, that’s wrong. Society tells me a need a good job. One that I love. No, that’s wrong too. Society tells me I need a job that makes a lot of money. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as I make lots of the green stuff. Or at least a half decent amount.
It doesn’t seem that bad on the surface. Go to uni or college. Get a degree. Get a good job (lots of money). Meet a nice guy or girl. Get married. Have kids. Live happily ever after.
It’s not that bad. On the surface.
Problem is: I don’t fit the mould.
I’m not against getting a good job. I’m not against making lots of money. What I’m having trouble with is that all I want to do is write. It’s the only thing I want to do. I don’t even really want to be a journalist or some other writing related job. I want to write fiction and tell the stories that want to be told.
But that doesn’t make money. At least not right away. Sometimes not for a long time. I mean, I can’t even call myself a starving artist, because my body would have consumed itself by now, and I’d be a dead artist.
The way things are now I have a job. Not particularly good, but it pays me. And I sort of hate it. But I don’t think I hate it because of what I do, (although truth be told it can get pretty aggravating), I think I hate it because it stops me from writing. It stops me from doing what I want to do. That was the problem I had in university. I really liked the courses, and I’m glad I went, but there was so much work that there wasn’t much writing time and I fell into depression partly because of it.
The thing is, I’m looking for a new job. A better job (more money). But I’m wondering if that’s the right choice. Is it the right choice to pour all my time into finding another job so that I can come to hate it so that I can build a career on the side writing novels? It just seems cyclical. It just seems pointless. It seems like I’m trying to build a career I don’t want as a failsafe so I can go after the career I do want, but in the meantime the career I do want is getting strangled because it’s not getting enough air.
I mean, I get the reasons for getting a better job. Writing is looking bleak. And it’s so hard to keep the doubt at bay sometimes, and believe that this thing could actually work. But I wonder if I owe it to myself to try, to really try to make it work, before succumbing to another job I’m liable to grow to hate.
Or maybe I’m being too cynical, and I really should just get a better job, then focus on my writing.
I don’t know.