Wednesday, June 20, 2012
What are you willing to sacrifice for writing?
I'm old enough to have some regrets, now. I wish I had been smarter about doing a double-major or even a minor to help support my writing habits. I know a girl who's doing English with a deaf studies minor so she can work as a translator while she writes books. Why wasn't I smart enough to do something like that? Most of all I wish I had worked out graduate school immediately after graduating. This year of not being in school has been in and of itself a very educational experience in and of itself, but it's been difficult. I've learned a lot about life and myself and what I actually want.
Which is why I am registered to take the GRE on Saturday. I'm still probably looking at one more year of not school, and this is where the sacrifice for writing thing comes in. Another year trying to survive financially, trying to keep building a writing career on my own, is terrifying. I used to be such an adventurer, and so fearless. I don't know what changed, but I definitely don't feel fearless anymore. Even the thought of graduate school--moving away to a totally strange place and living with all brand new people--is also terrifying.
But there are certain things we just have to do, despite our terror. I'm finally getting at least a little used to that idea, which ironically makes the terror a little less acute. And the thought that makes it all worth it, is that I'm doing it to move towards a writing career. Neil Gaiman's mountain analogy has given me the mental metaphors and imagery to put things back into perspective.
It has definitely been a roller-coaster, and I definitely don't see smooth sailing for a while, but right now that's okay, and things feel good. Is it strange that having the GRE to study for has made me feel quite a bit better about things? I'm not so sure I'm good at real life just yet, but school I can manage. I know how to be a student. And I love it and miss it.
You guys have been supportive and encouraging through my unstable life for a long time now, and it makes all the difference. We still have a while to go, but not so long, I hope. I feel like I'm pushing at the gates of about twenty different roads, the publishing road, graduate school, all sorts of different jobs, and we'll see which ones let me through, which ones fuse shut, which ones I just have to keep pushing. Something will happen, and soon, and I will try to look at it as an adventure.
And I'll be writing every step.