“Work for the wants, not suffer for the needs”
POS, a Minnesota based rapper
I work two jobs, one in a theatre as an usher at which I get to watch broadway plays every night, and the other I get to help people learn how to take care of their dogs and cats. In short, I have nothing to complain about. I get paid well at both of my jobs, I play with dogs and watch professional actors/actresses perform every night. However neither of these things are what I truly love doing in life, they are fun and pay my bills but my dream always has and always will be writing. The real question that needs to be asked is where does my job end and my career begin.
So far my only obstacle in attaining my dream and with quitting my both of my job is that I do not yet get paid to write, I do this for free because I love it. In a perfect world I would get paid by the word to write a weekly or bi-weekly column, maybe even get to travel a bit and write about my experiences. The truth is that these jobs are hard to obtain these days, there are so many writers out there doing exactly what I am doing (and some of them actually know what they are doing unlike myself) that the relatively small job market is saturated with aspiring writes throwing stories at publishers screaming “Please pay me for these words, I promise they are organized in an exciting fashion!”.
There are three options as far as I understand, the first and least desirable is to forget writing and pick a job that will pay well and full throw myself into that. Commit to the pet industry as a career, or a professional usher (is that a thing?) and stop spending time writing. The benefit of this option is that it might mean a more steady income, and a more reasonable answer when someone asks what I do for a living. The downside is that it takes a shit on my dreams, and I do not know about you, but I do not want shit on my dreams. I see no reason to give up something I love just because it will not promise me riches, that is just not something I care about in life. I am thankful to have been raised that way, to have a lover and friends that not only support me but feel the same way about how we live our lives.
The second option is to quit both of my jobs, and give writing full-time a go to see if I can make it. This is a situation I am often tempted by, because really I just hate having a job and want to write all the time instead. The downside is that once again, it is no easy feat to find a well-paying deal to write all the time let alone give me the freedom to write about whatever I personally care about and find interesting. As much as I would love to do this, I also love being able to pay my rent and eat dinner every night. Right now this just is not a feasible option, I have not yet established myself or found a proper avenue to turn my writing into income, so the dream of writing full-time is not for me just yet.
The last option is the one that I currently am pursuing and is very simple. I work a job that I enjoy day-to-day, and I write in my spare time as often as I want to. I submit stories to websites (check out thoughtcatalogue.com to see my first “published” work) and other places that may be interested in using them, as well as updating my own website here as often as I can. If one day someone offers to give me currency in exchange for all the words I put together here, that would be wonderful but not needed. This is for the love of the written word.
What I really want to say is a sentiment I have expressed previously here, and it is simple. Do whatever it is that you love, regardless of if you get paid. Find the time, make the time to do it aside from whatever your paid job is.
Do what you love, and fuck the rest.