Friday, October 23, 2015

Writing as a Career

Our youngest daughter is in college to become a web design/media/Photoshop specialist.  She has a little over a year to go (she went through fast, after graduating from high school as a junior with a 4.0 GPA out of 4.0 possible).  She's now having a crisis of major, or so I like to call it.  Even though she has a high GPA (3.99 GPA right now), she's sure she doesn't want to do this work outside college.  In other words, she's not happy and calls or emails me all the time, telling me she hates her major.

Lucky me.  NOT.

She wanted to change her major but this late in the game, it seems silly.  Besides, she changes her mind as to what she might change her major TO, even if she could change.  Some weeks it's psychology, other weeks, English, and she even considered joining the military or FBI, just to get out of her major.

Now, realize she's good at what she does.  She loves doing Photoshop and is really good at it. She's done a few of my (and other author's) covers and she knows her stuff.  She's considered teaching Photoshop but really isn't a people person.

Her latest write as a career.  She considered getting a minor in creative writing so she could write books.  She has a lot of plot ideas, but doesn't sit down and write them out...they sit in her head like little plot bunnies that are dying to get onto paper.

Thus, she and I had a little chat about this.  First, realize that hitting it big in the book market is much like winning the lottery.  The odds are against you, and probably worse than lottery odds.  Unless you're the only author in a niche market, you're probably not going to make it.  For example, if you write romance, don't quit your day job.

What does our daughter like to read and write?  Dystopian...end of the world type of stuff.  I call that depressing.  But she'd have done great writing something like the Hunger Games.

My advice to her is the same to anyone who wants to give it all up just to write.  Don't do it.  Keep the day job, but write at night or after the day job's over.  Unless you're pulling in at least six figures ($100,000 or more, for those who have never heard that saying), it's not going to be worth it.  Keep the day job for the benefits, at least.  But write when you can and always keep the latest scene of your book in your head.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite.  I don't have a day job, but certainly wish I did.  My job is writing and taking care of our dogs, but I think if I had that day job, I'd get more writing done.  The housework would suffer, but I'm not sure I'd care.  :)

Have a great week!

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