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Maybe it's just because it's March and I have four papers and a presentation breathing down my back, but there are times I stop and wonder, what the hell am I doing working my butt off for school when I could be putting this energy into my writing instead?

I know the answer. You've probably heard it before, probably said it to yourself if you're a writer or any other sort of artist. Because the art, right now and until an undated future, isn't going to pay the bills. And working in some crap job that bores me to death is going to make writing harder, not easier.

I used to feel envious of my friends who knew what they wanted to be--lawyer, pharmacist, computer programmer--and could go out there and work toward it and expect to make a living at it. I used to think it wasn't fair. They only had to dream once, and their dream was worthy of our capitalist society, and so it was theirs to keep. I had to dream twice: once for myself, and once for my bank account.

Guess what. The lawyer-friend realized she's not sure what she wants to do with herself, is juggling various possibilities, and knows she hasn't the funds to get into law school even if she decided on that and passed the entrance exams. The pharmacist-friend nearly drowned in her science courses and has revised her dream to history teacher. The computer programmer-friend lost the drive and flunked out of first year. And I'm still writing.

I've started to realize that I'm weird. I'm weird because I have something in my life that's more important to me than anything except life itself, something I would sacrifice anything for, something that comes from me. When my mom said to me the other day, "If you had to choose between having a serious romantic relationship, and keeping with your writing, which would you pick?" I didn't even have to think to reply, "My writing."

She didn't get it. I don't think any of my friends would get it, if I tried to explain it to them. I'm not even sure I get it. I just know that I couldn't be happy if I wasn't writing, and that writing makes me feel fulfilled in a way nothing else does.

I know that, though at times it seemed a burden, the truth is that I'm lucky.

So maybe I don't know for sure where I'm going. Maybe I'll never become a psychologist. Maybe I'll never go beyond this degree. Maybe I'll end up living on ramen noodles and canned orange juice. It doesn't worry me. My priorities are clear, my dream is steady, and I know the path I pick will be the one that lets me live there as often as I can.

You see, it's not about what I want to be. It's about what I am.

I'm a writer.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2003 04:33 am (UTC)
Beautifully said. I understand your love of the written word. I've become addicted to writing and can't seem to make it through a single day without writing something. If I have nothing to add to the interactive writing board I participate in, I'll work on journal entries (my own as well as character journals). The need to write drives me.

In my humble opinion,you're not weird at all for loving writing above all other things. That love only makes you a much better writer.
Mar. 6th, 2003 05:25 pm (UTC)
I don't particularly mind being weird--actually, I rather enjoy it. :D But thank you for your vote of confidence nonetheless. Always nice to know that one is not alone.
Mar. 5th, 2003 08:41 am (UTC)
:::whistles::: Bravo!
Funny enough, I used to be one of those people who knew exactly what I, not wanted to do, but thought I had to do. I find that there is a large disparity between what people want to do and what they believe they have to do in their lives, and more often than not the "have to do" is a surefire path to stress and unhappiness. Not that living on ramen noodles and canned orange juice can't lead to stress...

Now, if we're lucky, we really do know what we want to do, or at the very least, discover what we want to do in the midst of all our having to do. I discovered my love of and need to write while I was languishing in a fundamental funk of futility during my first couple years in college, working toward an engineering degree. Actualy, I discovered that the silly little habit I had of composing stories in my head and putting them down on paper was somthing I could take seriously. I'd never be rich off them, but that wasn't the point.

I don't want to comment on the relationship part, simply because I know I would make (and to some degree, have made) the same choice.

Mar. 6th, 2003 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: :::whistles::: Bravo!
I think that's the real struggle--finding that balance between choosing to neglect my writing in the short term and putting myself in a position where I'll have to neglect it in the long term (because I'm stuck working overtime in a mind-numbing job or whathaveyou). I'm still working on that.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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