I’ve been very troubled lately. I wrote about it in Pagan Culture and asked for advice. I’ve come to a point where I have to make life changing decisions. I have the opportunity to go to school for 3 years, everything paid, and study pretty much whatever I want. My first choice was creative writing of course, then I started thinking about the future… will I be able to support myself, a family, with these type of work? Also, am I serving my fellow man by making such a selfish decision?
I know that sounds a bit extreme, but when I think about writing, I don’t see it as work. Don’t roll your eyes just yet—I write too, so I know that it is a whole lot of work and then some. What I’m trying to say is that my writing makes me so absolutely happy that I could care less if I don’t eat, as long at I can tell my stories. And the day they get published—and they will—then it will be glory! Regardless of how much many I make, or if I don’t make any at all.
All that would be fine, if it was just me; I could eat paper and drink ink and feel completely nourished. But would I be able to look at my kids (when I have them) knowing I could have done so much more for them? Would they resent me? Would I be able to live with myself if I don’t write? Would I be me if I go back to my traditional 9 to 5 and forget about fulltime writing?
I asked similar questions in the post I mentioned above. I wanted the readers of Pagan Culture to help me decide my future—huge request, I know. Not very many of them are writers, but they are all excellent people; their answers showed that much. I asked them if I should pursue a religious justice degree, for one of my other passions is the study of Paganism and religious fairness. They all said that writing could always be a part time job.
If you are a writer, you already know that there isn’t such thing as “a part time writer.” I read “It is a Jungle out there” on C.H. Scarlett’s blog. I was almost in tears when I finished the short piece of truth. She explained that she was a writer because she wouldn’t know how to be anything else. Then I started laughing when she said that it wouldn’t be uncommon to find her “hiding in a break room jotting down a new idea for a book or adding to an old one” when she used to have an office job. I thought of the time I wrote a super sexy scene during a staff meeting and had to take a bathroom break because, like I said, the scene was just that hot. I need to write all the time.
So now I’m asking you the same questions I asked my Pagan Culture readers: “Is my path right in front of me and I just don’t see it clearly yet? Should I forget about a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing and pursue religious justice? As it is, I can always write fiction part time [Could I really?]. Should I think of myself, for once, and follow my artistic dreams? Will I be able to live with myself knowing that I could have done so much more? I know the decision is mine to make, but I really want your advice.”