Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Fellow Writers

I know that a majority of the content here is about the trials and tribulations of being thrust into the real world after college (otherwise known as me whining), but I just wanted to take a moment to put something positive out there. This isn't just for writers, though, this really goes out to everyone right now who might be feeling a little unsure about what they're doing right now and whether it's worth it.

There's a lot I would give to be fully employed right now, and some things I'd change if I had the chance to go back in time. But something I would never change, for any job, is what I am, and that's a writer. I've been a writer since I was three, scribbling lines across paper because I didn't know real words. And when I finally learned to master the alphabet, I was writing poems on pink paper. I remember one in particular which rhymed 'fun' with 'hot dog bun.' Hey, you work with what you know.

I was always creating stories, and I was always writing something down. From music video treatments to haikus (which you'll get a sampling of soon), words are sacred to me, and putting them together the right way is something I treasure. In the middle of the Texan suburbs, where saying you are agnostic (unsure of God) was practically a scarlet letter among my conservative peers, I prayed more than once using Shakespeare's sonnets.

I know that being an engineer or an accountant might make finding a job easier and mean a higher salary, but it's not my calling. My father knew he wanted to be an engineer since he was a kid taking things apart and putting them back together. He was lucky that his choice happened to be something very obviously valuable in the job market and connected to a perfectly drawn path. But 'word-lover' isn't something I can put in my passport. For most of my life I've been fighting two opposing forces: the passion driving me to words, and the guilt of my practicality telling me to find something solid and dependable. My college was expensive, but it was what I wanted so, so badly. More importantly, it was what I needed to be the writer I am. I can wish it wasn't such a financial burden, but I can't apologize for it being the best school for me.

Just because not everyone understands the value of being a writer, and how much they need people like me, doesn't mean I've chosen a useless profession. I did not get a Bachelor's degree in 'Do you want fries with that?' No matter what people may tell you, or what their faces may convey as you explain to them what you're doing, you need to know that it's worth it to pursue what you were made to do. Even just this blog, which has made me a grand total of 50¢, has given me so much more because I'm writing. And people are reading. Blogs, articles, website copywriting, it's all part of being a writer, just like those Shakepeare prayers and childhood rhymes.

I am what I am. I can't change it. I would never want to.

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