Read this article.
This made me sad, it made me angry, and in the back of my distrustful mind, it made me hope. I’m not going to lie – I would most certainly stop going to my soul sucking job and write a novel. I’d write five. And I’d paint. And take up sculpting. And weaving, and yarn spinning and dying, and all number of creative things I just don’t have time to do working 8 to 12 hours a way, 5 to 7 days a week. All those things people always say “Gosh, that’s so creative, I wish I could do that!” I would do. I would bring into the world things other people just can’t, if someone would just give me money enough to live on so I didn’t have to waste half my day worrying and working at it. If I knew, no matter what, there would be a roof over my head and food in my belly, and that if I wanted to keep creating I’d have to creating things people wanted to buy from me – you beat I would. If need be, I would teach people’s snot nosed kids the tricks of my trade for the extra money for art supplies. I would become an editor, I would sell cupcakes and cookies and food I like making, instead of pandering my boss’s desires and corporate’s tape. I would make things people wanted to have, just for the ability to keep making things people want to have. I cannot see how this is wrong.
I make no claims to being a genius artist. I know there’s a very good chance my writing is only interesting to me. But I also know I would keep trying until I found something I made that society benefited from, because I would be depending on consumers to want the fruits of my artistic labors in order to fund my “hobbies” – my passions, more correctly.
I need to stop writing things I’m passionate about first thing in the morning. I know none of this is as compelling or coherent as I want it to be – but it matters to me. I need to get it out, even before coffee-need it more than I need coffee, if you can imagine such a thing.
This article hit me hard, because ever since proving to myself with NaNoWriMo that I can write every day, day after day, and still want to do it, I can’t stop thinking about how to achieve this dream. I can’t stop feeling caged in my wage-slave job. I can’t stop raging against how much I hate the fact that I’m trapped, that no one ever taught me how to actually support myself, that I have no idea what a grown up job is and how to get one and what it would even mean to have one and how much I hate that all this UNNECESSARY thoughts are what’s ruling my emotional and mental energies, rather than wrestling with how I’m going to actually end the novel I’ve written instead of trailing off into the ether. That even when I’ve made the decision to embrace my passions and try to become an author, all I can think about is what job can I possibly get to support me and my partner, but still leave me with enough time to write, and not be so soul-suckingly awful as to strip me of all my energy and will – that even when I’ve committed to walking away, I can’t walk away, because I have to have a job. I have to stay in the service industry, or take a HUGE paycut working for free to get the experience to prove to people I can do something else. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT SOMETHING ELSE IS, because the first ten years of my working life have been eaten up by fast food because it was the only job I knew to apply for as a kid.
The past six months have been a pretty big wake up call for me, but now that I’m awake, I don’t know what to do with it. This frustrates me more than I can say. I know I’m a reasonably intelligent person, but all the smarts in the world will get you nothing if you don’t know how to learn – if you don’t even know what you need to learn. I have a bachelors degree, and I feel like I know less about the world than anyone else my age, or any age. I am lost in a country too big to see that it’s a forest, let alone the trees. I almost wish, some days, that I was born to an underdeveloped country, so that the fight for survival would eat all of my thoughts, and not leave me in this half-aware, nebulous state.
I need to quit while I’m ahead, but I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my point across yet.
Maybe I don’t know what my point is.