Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What it means to be a writer

Today marks shitty day number 224 at work. I've been there a year and a half, not by choice, but by necessity. Mama's got to bills to pay and red wine to buy.

I spent the day hovered over my keyboard, watching tears hit the keys one by one, rejecting any ounce of advice The Hoff solicited via gchat, because sometimes it's easier to sulk in misery than find a solution to the problem.

Here's my dilemma:

I'm on job #3 since graduating college three and a half years ago.

Job #1: Proposal writer for government contractor. First and only job offered to me upon graduation because it's the only one I applied to. I figured I'd be cool, since 'writer' was in the title. Yeah, um...not so much. I sucked at this job and finally decided after crying in the bathroom for weeks on end that I needed a change. It was around that time job #2 landed in my lap.

Job #2: Editorial assistant for two log home magazines and a timber home magazine. Gotta admit, I knew zero about log or timber homes. But I was applying what I learned in college, utilizing AP style, and editing documents on InDesign. Life was good. Until the economy went down the shitter, starting with the home industry, and my position was eliminated 14 months after I started.

Job #3: Information specialist for a government agency dedicated to women's health. Believe in the cause, not so much the organization. I essentially answer phone calls and e-mails from people who have the average IQ of a rock. I think I've mentioned I'm also a breastfeeding peer counselor before on this blog. I'm not sure how much talk of sore, chapped, cracked nipples I can tolerate.

Life is full of promise and opportunity when you graduate college. I envisioned myself as Kate Hudson's character in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" or Jennifer Garner in "13 Going On 30," fashion magazine writer/editor by day and gallivanting girl about town by night.

Then, reality knocked me on my ass and I realized that you have to be Anna Wintour's goddaughter or have some divine intervention to be selected as an employee at one of the coveted fashion magazines. That is, if any of them survive this recession.

And I go to job # 3 day after day, knowing I'm better than what I'm doing, all the while being micromanaged by my supervisors. And all I really want to do is write. It's the only thing I've ever been above average at and the one thing that has consistently brought pleasure to my life.

But what do you do when you can't get paid to do your passion?

I watched "Julie and Julia" tonight, a movie any blogger can relate to, and Julie posed the question, "what does it mean to be a writer?"

-Do you have to be published to be considered a writer?
I'd argue no for the sole fact that numerous famous authors were never published during their lifetime, but that probably never affected their classification of themselves as a writer.

So how do you become a writer?

To watch Julie go through her own enlightenment, unfolding her talent and achieving her dreams made me realize something: If both Julia Child and Julie can go from government secretaries to published authors, then dammit, there may be hope for me yet.

But for now, I may not have a book deal or a movie offer, but I have this blog and that's incentive enough for now. Thanks for sticking around for the ride.

0 comments on "What it means to be a writer"


Running Fashionably Late Copyright 2010 Shoppaholic Designed by Ipietoon.

Customized by LivitLuvit.