Lately the school has been pushing my class to discover what they want to go into as a career. I’ve known what I’ve wanted to be since fourth grade. Only recently have I come to understand what a ridiculous notion being a writer right out of school is, especially the kind of writer I want to be. A novelist. Parents and professionals around the world may now gasp in horror!
I love writing, always have, always will. But, I’m realizing that i can’t just do that. My dream has always been this:
Own my own bookstore. Write novels. Done. Clean perfect and sealed with a kiss! It has always seemed that simple to me. All I had to do was buy a store fill it with books,and people would come right? Then I could rake in a decent salary and work on my sure to be published YA novel.
It is not that simple. I guess I was just naive about the whole thing, and yeah I feel kind of stupid saying it, but I was. Now i’m kind of freaking out because I understand that I can’t do this right out of college or highschool or whatever level of education I had planned to complete in this fantasy.
So practically, what is a girl to do? I mean, I want a decent living… who doesn’t? And I also want to pursue my dream, which will limit the amount of jobs I can get that will allow me plenty of writing time. That list is even further narrowed by jobs that give you a decent salary.
When I first discovered this I had thought “Oh I’ll be a creative writing teacher!” Simple right? I get to teach and practice what I teacher with summers and weekends off. Then my dream was brutally crushed by my worst enemy. Numbers. Teacher salaries are horrible. Especially fresh out of college, which is when you need money! How am I suppose to open a freaking bookshop only making 20-30,000 dollars a year huh? Even with seniority a lot of teachers only make 40,000 a year and that’s if you stay in the same place your whole life. Working 9-5.
I can’t do that. I hate doing the same thing everyday. It would drive me crazy!
So that lead me, to my parents and grandparents delight, to their option:
Need I say more? Feel free to gasp in sheer terror. A creative soul forever chained to a desk, crunching numbers in a lab. I shudder to think of it. I can’t imagine this. Me working in a cubical, with million of other cubicles typing away on a calculator, and mixing foul-smelling chemicals behind a pair of goggles. Ugh. I refuse to be condemned to this fate. While a great money-maker (50-80,000 out of college) I can’t do it. It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about it.
So that left me with my back up career. Nursing. Don’t get me wrong. I actually think I’d like being a nurse. You get to help others, and according to most nurses I’ve talked to there is a super high demand for them. Along with that their out of college salary is pretty awesome at 40-60,000 a year with only a two-year associates degree. Their hours aren’t awesome, but they are super flexible, and part-time work has a ton of potential in this area. I could easily work 4 days a week and still make good money.
This should make me happy right? Making good money with a good amount of writing time, but I’m not happy. Mostly i’m freaked out. My whole life is changing. It’s crazy scary to realize that the way you’ve envisioned yourself living your life isn’t really practical (and thus, for a sensible girl like me, not possible).
I’m desperately afraid of the fact that I’ll somehow lose my writing if I don’t become a book store owner or a teacher. It’s so stupid and childish to believe it, but I do. It’s as if I lived in a snow-globe my whole life and suddenly somebody has shattered the sphere, and now I see the world as it really is. It’s good that I see it, but it’s scary. Now I’m kind of wishing the snow-globe had been the whole world.
I understand that plenty of people write with a full-time job, but that just wasn’t how I saw myself. I guess I’m just now “re-seeing” myself, if you know what I mean. Maybe that is what is freaking me out. The fact that I’m having to redefine what I’ll be, and in that, I’ll have to change who I am. And writing, writing is who I am.
That is all I have to say about that. I know I won’t lose my writing, but I just can’t shake this feeling that it won’t be the same. Weird. I know.
In other less, serious news, I purchased WITHER today. This cool little Indie store by my house got a close out lot of 20 copies and I purchased a perfect hardback for only 3.99. A crime against humanity, I know! I also obtained Sabotage by Margaret Peterson Haddix for the same price. So I suppose I’m off to read those and forget about my writing worries.
Anyone else ever have this freaky experience?