I’ve been there, you know, that place where people criticize your life choices just because they don’t understand the route you are taking in life. At this point in my career, I’ve stopped listening to those critics. One, because no one other than me can decide how I want to live. Two, because most of those critics don’t seem to have reached a success higher than mine to be able to lecture me.
As you can imagine, being a writer is not easy. When I started college, I heard a bunch of stereotypical comments about being a writer, some of which sounded like the following: “You won’t make money;” “being a writer is nothing.” For some time, I listened to those critics and studied criminal justice, thinking I would do law. After a semester in that major, I decided it wasn’t for me. Let me be clear, I earned an A in my first criminal justice course and was one of the best students in the class (yes, I will brag). If I wanted, I probably could have been a lawyer, but the idea of being one made me really sad. I wanted to be free, to write what I desired, not write factual information with an unvaried sentence structure. So I quit criminal justice and took on creative writing, the career I knew in my heart I loved.
People tend to stick by what they know, stay in their safe zone. They don’t want to try something they might possibly fail at. They want to know from the minute they start a task that they are going to pass. And that is something I did not live by when I signed on to be a writer. I knew the risks. I knew that if I didn’t get lucky, I would never see my books in bookstores or on people’s bookshelves. But I took the risk anyway because I realized that doing something I loved with a chance of failure was better than doing something I hated with a 100% chance of success.
Our days, unfortunately, are numbered. We can’t live forever, despite what Twilight and Vampire Diaries might tell you. So why choose a career you’re not into just to be safe? Do you want to live a boring life and have a safe career only to realize on your deathbed that you could have done something more with your time? Sure, I could have been a lawyer, but I wouldn’t have been happy now, and if I continued down that path, I would most likely regret not following my true passion.
Of course, you could choose both a safe career and your passion, do both at the same time. That’s always an option. But you have to ask yourself if you have what it takes to pull both off. I know for sure that if I had to do law and be a writer, I would end up never writing because, as many lawyers have told me, law takes the creativity out of a person. However, I am currently working in marketing, and I get to write blogs as a career all while writing my novels. This type of career worked well with my life goal in ways other careers would never have.
So when it comes to your career, do what you love. Don’t hesitate just because your grandmother’s friend shook her head in disappointment at you and claimed her grandchild was more successful. Don’t even hesitate if your own mom was criticizing you. Heck, don’t hesitate if Santa himself came down that chimney to tell you how to shatter your hopes and dreams (not that he would…this is just an example).
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the preview of my novel Dance with the Devil right here: