I’m going to cheat today and blog about some really great advice my boyfriend gave when I asked him where I should go from here, career-wise. About a month ago, I quit my job and decided that maybe I should try becoming a “real” writer. Maybe write freelance for magazines or become a staff writer, if I’m lucky. Like all people who think they can write, I want the validation of seeing my name in print, followed by a well-written piece about whatever. All my friends say I’m good enough, so why not give it a shot?
The whole follow-your-dreams thing isn’t really working out right now. It’s not because I don’t have faith in my abilities as a writer, but because I realize that I am magazine-unemployable for two reasons: I have never written for a magazine in my life, and my senses and ideas are dull from years I’ve spent at an isolating work-at-home arrangement. (Also, I guess I’m not being aggressive enough with my applications? Because I might actually kill myself if a magazine tells me that I’m not good enough to join their ranks?)
While this is happening, I’ve been getting job offers without really seeking them actively. The catch is that they’re not quite like the unpredictable, jet-setting writerly life that I’ve dreamed for myself. I’m getting bored and despite having a part-time job to tide me over, I’m also getting broke. Do I hold out for a silly dream that in all likelihood will never come to pass, or do I take the next great offer that comes my way?
I asked Marco about it over YM, and this is what he has to say:
Some people can wait through a job they don’t love. They get by through seeing it as just a stepping stone to what they really want. To be perfectly frank, I don’t see you as one of those people. You hate the grind. You want the most efficient way of getting there, and separating your attention between your goal and a job you’re not into is a waste of your energy.
Now, you can convince yourself to push a little harder with the patience thing, but you reach your limits easily. You don’t like the feeling of wasting your time and effort. It’s not a lack of EQ or impatience – you just see things differently.
What does this mean for you? You’ve already tried the whole settling for a paycheck thing. You didn’t like it. What you really need to do for yourself now is to do as you please. The only thing holding you back is the financial part – your condo.
So what should you do? If you can muster the will to sludge through yet another passionless paycheck, make sure you get one that you’re kind of into. It may not have the world-changing impact you want at the moment, but you might as well make it meaningful to you. Find a job that’ll pay you for little things you want to enact, like, I dunno, helping women toughen up or something. The medium through which you achieve this is up to you. If it’s writing, great. If it’s helping people socially find jobs, go for it. What’s important is that it feels right for a change.
So there it is, a compass pointing at a direction that finally makes sense. Maybe what I do for a living doesn’t have to be related to my life’s greatest passion. Maybe all I really need is interesting, well-paying work so I can afford adulthood without killing my soul in the process. Nobody says I can’t be a writer if my professional life revolves around an unrelated field. I’ll just be an unpublished, unrecognized writer, I guess, but that’s never stopped me from enjoying the quiet pleasure of putting my thoughts on paper (and getting validation from the one or two people who read what I have to say).Google+