Friday, July 22, 2011

Day Jobs Aside, Writing is More Than a Career

It's funny how things happen. Today I had an interview for a job that seems like it would be a good fit. Overall, I felt like the interview went well. However there was one thing that felt strange to me. I mentioned to the interviewer that I was looking for a "career." Then at home I read a post by another writer about her issues with finding a "career." This got me thinking.

It is true that I really haven't had one in any traditional way. At first I thought this might have been because I was moving around, going to school, and getting married. All of these things could contribute to the possible explanation for me not fitting anywhere in particular. The longest I've ever worked anywhere was barely 2 years, and that was a kind of torture because of my boss and the nature of the company.

But now I feel a little differently about things. For the past year I have been diligently working on my first book, The Brothers, which I just self-published. I even began the sequel (which I am about 2/3 finished writing). I would write if no one ever read my work, or paid me a dime. It is what I love to do. I can't stop doing it, so I may as well continue, regardless of the pitfalls etc.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Writing isn't just a career for me. It's a vocation. It's a calling. As anyone who has been called to something knows, once the call comes, you can't ignore it. You can't push something like this aside and pretend you were washing your hair.

On top of it being a career and a calling, it has also been a dream of mine.

When I was a young child, I made attempts at writing books. I had binders and notebooks filled with stories that I wanted to read that no one had yet written. I was tired of reading other people's stories. I wanted to create my own. I wanted to create a world where other people could visit, not visit someone else's world. At the time, I didn't think of this as something I could do for a living. I didn't think of it as a job. In fact, I had been told, from many sources, that becoming a writer was a stupid thing to do. It didn't pay, you had little chance of success, and you would likely only influence a handful of people.

Though I have been told regularly writing was a waste of time from a number of different avenues, since I wrote my book, I've gotten more support from friends and family than I expected. Yes, it's true. Every now and then I do get a naysayer who doesn't believe I can do what I am doing right at this very minute. Still, the majority of people are amazed I even finished a book, let alone published it myself.

Part of this is because many people wish they had the courage to follow their callings, their dreams, and the wishes of their deepest hearts. Most people don't. It is unfortunate. Some people don't even know what these dreams and callings are. They don't know what they want, and because of this, they can't get it. For me, I always wondered what the first step was supposed to be which ended up being my biggest obstacle. In the end, like all things, I just gave up worrying about it, and did it.

Yes, I need a day job. Yes I need some kind of traditional career at the moment (and maybe for a little longer). But I do have a career and a calling. I am a writer. I am literally living my dream. For the moment it's not lucrative - frankly, it doesn't buy milk yet. But I am confident in my stories and my abilities. The Universe doesn't call you to something without a purpose. Your voice is meant for something. I will trust in that, continue doing as I am, and persist.

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