Saturday, April 23, 2011

You write? Why don't you find a real job? What good is an English major?

Eventually nearly every writer (English major) hears the all too typical: “You really want to be a writer? Why don’t you get a real job and major in business or law?” or better yet, “Yeah just writing down your thoughts now that’s a really hard, viable job.” Or even better, “Are you sure you don’t just want to teach English?”

Those questions have all been thrown at me lately and have set my teeth a little bit on edge. For a long time when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said a teacher because that’s a respected profession and nobody asked any follow-up questions.

BUT I realized that was a copout and in recent years decided to come out of the closet. I want to be a writer and I’ll announce that loud and proudly to anybody who asks me what I want my future career to be.

Not only do I want to be a writer, but I am a writer. I write for five different newspapers, (three are paying jobs), I write novels, short stories, etc. I’ve been published by various websites. I am a writer.

I do realize that most writers need to take a second job, because the odds of making enough money to support yourself and a family are slim, but I don’t care. I want to write and that’s what I’ll do. Even if I never get paid or published, I’ll always answer that I’m a writer.

Granted, I dream of walking into a bookstore and seeing my novel on a shelf. But it’s more than a dream; it’s a burning desire and passion.

Writing isn’t as easy as people think.

So to those who say: You really want to be a writer? Why don’t you get a real job and major in business or law? Yeah just writing down your thoughts now that’s a really hard, viable job? Are you sure you don’t just want to teach English?

Yes, I’m sure I want to be a writer and no I don’t want to major in business or law. Writing is harder than you think and it may not be a viable job but that’s what I’m going to do. And no, I don’t really want to teach English. It’s a good viable secondary job, but I want to be a writer and that’s what I’m going to be.

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