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May 7, 2012

Writing for a living: The good, the bad, the ugly

The draw of the written world is difficult to resist when you are passionate about it. All I ever wanted was to be a writer. To earn lots of money from splurging my inner most quirks and eccentricity, and show the world that I knew what big words like ‘supercilious’ meant. Haters be damned.

They don’t tell you how difficult it is going to be though. The teachers tell you to be what you want to be. Your parents encourage you to reach for the stars. Unless of course, they are realistic, in which case they subtly point you towards being a lawyer or businessman.

The good

The great thing about being a writer is the creative freedom that comes with it. You are the pilot of your own life. You could become a copywriter, study to be a journalist, write a book, enter competitions and earn some cash, blog about your passions and have people enjoy what you have to say.There is a positive energy about being the whimsical writer with the beret; people watching and being inspired by life and joy.

The bad

You aren’t taken seriously though. When people find out you have a degree, they are impressed … until you mention the words ‘English’ or ‘creative’ and suddenly you’re one ‘them’. The lay-about who has no solid skills, intelligence or future. You aren’t useful to society. It’s so frustrating.

The ugly

Not being taken seriously and not getting work come hand in hand many days, and that’s when being a writer becomes ugly. Because the haters from above were right. You are useless. You don’t do anything worth while and you slump into a depression.

Then again, nothing worth having ever came easily. That was mentioned when I was younger. Perhaps it should have been incorporated into the ‘follow your dreams’ pep talk. It would have caused me a lot less headaches later on in life.

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