This week’s prompt: If you could change career paths and be anything you would want to be, what would you be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
Since the 4th grade, I’ve wanted to be a children’s book author and illustrator.
But when I entered the working world and began working as a magazine editor, I realized something mind-boggling.
Art and business don’t mix.
Editors and agents need to make money. They don’t recognize my need to write stories that may not be marketable. They don’t understand that I’d rather just write and write instead of market and tell everyone how brilliant my stories are.
The other thing I learned was that I’m not good under pressure. When I’m trying to produce something creative under stress and trying to please someone, every word is crap. My writing is best when I write for joy and love, letting the story tell itself on the page through my fingers like a pianist and the keyboard. I’m not a writer who wants to be tethered to a computer all day funneling their brain into 50,000 words. I’d rather write awhile, go twirl, write some more, bake a pie, write some more…
You get the picture.
Right now, I’m fortunate enough to pursue my writing dreams with plenty of time to doodle and dream. I don’t like to call my books a career because it’s more of a passion. It’s something I want to do, not something I do to make money. But if I had to go out and get a job (and career), I would want to do something creative and not writing centric. Working as a journalist was fun, but draining. It was hard to chase and write stories all day and come home and try to write my own. I’d want to do something hands on with the arts, like sculpting jewelry or baking or painting or designing. After teaching writing classes, I found out I’m a terrible teacher and I can’t stand blood, so nursing is out. I made a D in business and marketing makes me cranky.
The only thing I’m good at in life is feeding people and writing stories. That’s not a promising career path for grown ups.
But luckily, I still don’t have to grow up yet. So I’ll keep telling stories and painting.
What would you do, Invisible Friends? If you had to do it all over again, would you do the same career?