“Why aren’t you USING your degree?”
“So you work at a grocery store, you have a psychology degree, and you want to write books?”
Today, I just have to be super real with you, and just talk about some real life. This will be more of a pep talk than a traditional Tips blog. Might even turn into a rant. But this is for every aspiring author who tells people their dreams, and gets hit with the "Um, you know you’re never gonna get anywhere, right?"
First of all, why are you telling us that? What do you hope to gain from this? Most writers already understand what the chances are of getting rich and famous off of books, but we want to do it anyway, because we love to write.
Second, you actually don’t know that. I’m pretty sure you don’t have the ability to see the future. Some people do become big stars because of their books, and how do you know you’re not looking at someone who will? Even if there’s a one in a million chance, that’s still a chance. We know that. We write our books that way, where the protagonist only has that slim of a chance to win, but they find a way. This is our mindset. Do not take this positivity away from us.
"You know writing is hard, right?"
Really? No! I had no idea! Might as well quit now. Thanks for letting me know before I got myself into something hard. Definitely didn't want the personal growth and sense of accomplishment that comes with a challenge!
I mean, do you really expect to hear this kind of response?
Most importantly, why do you even care? What’s it to you if I’m not “using” my degree? Honestly, I use it every time I write. Studying people’s brains has been very helpful in developing characters. Sure, I could go back to school to gain the necessary credentials for a serious career in psychology. But why would I want to put myself in debt for the rest of my life for something I’m not really passionate about? I love psychology itself, I’ve always found it fascinating, but I don’t feel a drive deep within me to pursue it. I feel that for writing books. And I wouldn’t be the writer I am now if I hadn’t gone to college. I also met some of the best people ever in college. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. So just because I’m not “using” my degree, that does not mean my time in college was all a waste.
Also, what makes a job a “real” job? Would you consider the day job I have to make money more real than my writing job that I’m using to pursue my dreams, make myself happy, and make not as much money? If you want to know what my day job is, that’s not an offensive question. What’s your day job? I’ll tell you, I work at a grocery store. But my writing is more real to be, because it gives me life. It gives me happiness. We all need to do something to make money, and some authors actually do make money off their books alone. I’m not among them yet, but I have hope. You’re just very negative and want to take my hope away.
Yes, I have a psychology degree, I work at a grocery store, and writing books is my true passion. Why? Because I’m a well-rounded person. I also like singing and dancing and snowboarding and riding quads. And sitting at home with my cat drinking tea. Why exactly are you so surprised that I have multiple interests? This isn’t the world of Divergent, okay? It’s not uncommon for people to have more than one personality trait.
I took a creative writing class once and there was this horrible guest speaker, who basically told us all that our writing would never take us anywhere, and that it was basically impossible for any of us to make it big. Guess what? We’re all gonna keep writing anyway!
As long as we’re happy, I don’t understand why people want to talk us out of it. Are you just imposing your own regrets about your life onto me? Are you afraid I will succeed in the thing you were too scared to attempt? Clearly this isn’t about me. I’m just some hopeless lost girl who found a home in another world, and wanted to write about it. So… what exactly is your problem?
Keep writing, people. Don’t let anyone else’s negativity stop you. Even if you don’t “get anywhere” by the rest of the world’s standards, if you wrote a story, you have succeeded in creating something out of nothing, and worked real magic. You have expanded your creative thinking. You set out to finish something, and you pulled through. That’s a big accomplishment. Go celebrate with people who understand how huge that is. Or, celebrate by yourself if no one around you gets it.