When I was about 21, I tried to write a novel. It was not good.
At that point, I realized that my goal of the last damn-long-time, to be a novelist, wasn’t likely to be a reasonable career path in my life immediately post-school.
Being young, I decided this meant I needed to throw myself into something else, with the same single minded obsession that I did writing and reading and literature. I picked communications, media theory, and essentially things that took my favourite part of studying english (figuring out the frameworks and references that authors use to generate meaning) and applied it to pretty much everything.
[My parents found this shift in my life validating, as 1) my mother would constantly say ‘so you want to write, fine, but how are you going to LIVE?’, and 2) my father had been trying to get me to read Marshall McLuhan since I was 15. The lesson here is, your parents have lived a life. This means they may see the bumps in your road ahead, before you do.]
The problem here, is that I had never really had a hobby. Writing was my hobby, and it was also my intended profession. When that was no longer the case, media theory became my hobby and my career. It’s worked out pretty well, at least in terms of me doing well in my career. But it made for a complicated situation in terms of work/life balance.
When your passion is your profession, it can be difficult to turn off.
I’ve realized that I made a mistake. I gave up on writing as a thing I loved, rather than as a thing I would get paid to do.
That was stupid.
I cut off a whole range of creative expression, I cut off my access to one of the things that made me who I am. I learned how to understand people by writing them. I learned how to understand things by trying to explain them. I learned how to have a place in the world, in a room, in a group of friends, and in my family by figuring out what pieces needed to be in place to make it seem real on paper.
And I decided, in the space of basically 48 hours, that being unprepared to do that professionally at 21 meant that I wasn’t supposed to be doing it.
[This is called being 21, if you’re wondering.]
So, I guess that’s my new mission, in my non-work hours. Get to the point where I’m comfortable calling myself a writer again.@8 months ago with 3 notes
#writing #personal #me #mistakes #direction #creativity