Why Choose to Write Instead of Getting a Real Job?
The pen is mightier than the sword...
When I was younger in school, I got very good marks in English, Drama and History -- all three subjects being linked somehow. I was good at writing scripts for plays, creating portfolios and projects, writing short stories and poetry, and everyone was of the opinion that I was a master-debater and a cunning linguist.
When I was looking through a number of career books and seeking help from a guidance counsellor years later, I was very unsure of what I would do later in life after school. It's amazing how, at least where I come from, they expect you to know exactly what to do and fill in a form that determines your future, at fifteen years of age. And yet sexual responsibility comes later, as well as being able to drive, drink, smoke and becoming fully ‘legal' with IDs, passports, etc. To me that seems like, as the saying goes, learning to walk before you can crawl.
Goodness knows I was confused, unsure and scared. I had no idea of what I would do as a future career until I was about twenty. It was then that I became interested in writing as a career path, and doing it online as well. After all, I've been computer literate for most of my life, and writing is a talent that I've possessed my whole life as well, with teachers always commenting that I should become a journalist.
For years I was under the same influence as other people. I thought that I had to hurry up and get a job and fit in with society. The only thing is I don't really fit in. I am an individual, a rebel, and I don't like being ordered around. That's just how I am, I wasn't always like that, but eventually I just became that way; I developed a backbone. When I think back to years past, I didn't really stand up for myself, and I took a lot of nonsense from people. One day, I guess I just had enough. I decided that I should concentrate on what I want and not what others want. It may seem selfish, but being a doormat or a lap dog is probably worse.
I don't want to work for someone, behind a desk for long hours with little time to myself, trading my time for money. I would rather sit behind my desk, on my PC, working for myself, and as I've read on Steve Pavlina's blog at www.stevepavlina.com, it's much better to trade value for money.
"Any amount of money is worth that rather than slaving in a workplace with difficult hours, difficult people and difficult demands to meet."
Think about it this way: when a customer buys something from you, he or she is interested in the value they're getting for their money. Generally people don't care about how many hours went into making it, but they might care about what was used to make it, such as clothes. Most people are not interested in time, they are after the value. They don't know how many hours people might work in a factory and they wouldn't care even if they did, that's the truth.
Initially when I just finished high school, my family was all for telling me what to do and what job I should get. Butcher; Civil Engineer; Chef; 7-11 manager; Security Guard - they were all things that I wasn't interested in and they claimed were only suggestions. All of them have something in common: long hours, and perhaps with some exceptions, minimal pay.
I can accept that some people are meant for some jobs and that some jobs are dirty, but someone has to do them, but I believe that someone is not me. I have to have more confidence that I am worth a lot more than that. That's why I decided to wait it out and try something else; something that I wanted to do.
A lot of folks are quick to give advice to young adults and say that they shouldn't be picky, and should be willing to start low down and work their way to the top. Why can't they see that could apply to the internet and writing as well? When you first start out, you're not making any money, or only a little, but it takes time. I hear that most blogs, if they make it, only hit their strides after a year or so.
I know a lot of people would be quick to say, "Get a real job, earn real money." The fact is that I need to find my place in life, as do other people, and I'm still young. I think I also wouldn't fit in with most of the jobs mentioned above because I'm an intellectual, not a typical blue collar wage-slave or a physical work-horse type (not that there's anything wrong with them). I can't work with metal, wood or with cooking too well. I like food, but I'm not really interested in being a chef for the rest of my life. And as I've heard from my favourite sitcom of the 1980s, Blackadder, "I'm one of those people who are quite happy to wear cotton, but have no idea how it works."
Writing at home appeals to me because I like it. I can work at my own leisure for as long as I want, and I can earn money from it, for value and not time like most jobs. And I think that any amount of money is worth that rather than slaving in a workplace with difficult hours, difficult people and difficult demands to meet.
"If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day in your life."— Confucius
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© 2008 Anti-Valentine
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