When reality sets in

What do you do when looking into your future feels like staring into a bottomless pit? How do you balance making a living with living your passion? These musings are the result of writing being my “one true love”.All I want to do — all I have ever wanted to do — is write. Not only is it the only thing I believe I am somewhat decent at, but it is the only thing I truly enjoy. I don’t care about anything the way I care about words. I am in love with them. Realizing that I have to do everything but that to make ends meet, however, is starting to get me down a bit. I recently started a job working in an office, and although it’s not in my field, I was still excited. I would be able to stretch my arms into new territory and see what it was all about. Except, the opposite happened. I realized my dreams of making a living off writing are worse than I could have ever imagined, and if I ever wanted to make it as a writer in the professional world I was going to have to suffer through all the other BS that comes with it. Anyone who keeps up with my column knows that I am a server. It’s all I complain about. I have no idea what not standing for eight consecutive hours is like unless I’m sleeping. This is the life I’ve endured for three years. So when I go to my new job and stare at a screen like a zombie hour after hour, bored out of my mind, I start to get restless. Of course, a career in writing will include time sitting in front of a screen, typing away at a keyboard endlessly. But when I write for myself, it is not a job, obviously. It is something I enjoy. It feels different. When I write for work, it is not at all the experience I imagined in my head. This piece is not meant to be a negative outlook on life; rather, I want my fellow English majors interested in creative writing to simply be realistic about their futures. I wasn’t. And now I am trying to find ways to integrate my skills in the professional world without seeming like a lost puppy desperate for income. How can we make our world one in which we get to do what we love and live off of it? It’s too good to be true for most of us, I think, but what’s important is to dedicate your free time to your passions. If I did not write in my spare time for myself, I might go on a rampage. It is my outlet and allows me to be free and speak my mind, even if just to paper. She listens to what I have to say, and for that I am thankful. But I have to be realistic. If I am going to make this into a career, the fact of the matter is that I have to suffer through things I don’t want to do. Such is life. I cannot afford to be negative, but realistic (that’s what I like to call it anyway). The road is long and full of bumps, ice, and maybe dog shit, but if that is what it takes to get to the end where the sun shines, I guess I have no choice but to suck it up.