Here’s to answer the big question: what do I do with my PASSION? Adulting has thrown me headlong into a practical world full of practical needs: food, clothing, healthcare, taxes, and bills galore.
And one big necessity: a J-O-B. With salary benefits, of course. In my career search I am trying to combine my passion for writing with professional work. But I have always been a “creative” kind of writer.
That goes back to when I was three years old. Ever since then I’ve always been writing fiction: from picture stories to comics to full blown attempts at novels. To this blog post. But during my college years I found it difficult to reconcile my “creative” side with the practical demands of every day work.
I wondered where in the hell my place was. And it did lead into moments of depression. As much as I loved my creative writing, I did find myself becoming a little too absorbed at times, almost obsessively. No, scratch that: more than obsessively.
My writing was like a window to imagination. And, at times, it became a window of escape. Once I realized what I had been neglecting, in the form of missed-out friendships, relationships, and basic social skills, I became depressed.
But the good news is that I have recommitted myself to working harder in those areas. I want to establish my place in the practical world. I want to reassess things. Obviously, this involves sacrifice.
But lately, at times, I’ve been wondering if that sacrifice involves having to choose against the thing that I love the most. I always fantasized about being a famous author and novelist one day: but those fantasies did delude me at times. With grandeur.
But, then again, sometimes it’s the grandeur that builds creative ideas. I know mine did, and continue to do at times. But what do you do when there’s conflict between passion and practicality?
So many people talk about giving up on things they love. The tale of “abandoned dreams” runs rampant: couldn’t make a living on it, so I settled for something else. These are not necessarily sad stories: some people who “sacrificed dreams” went on to do other things that fulfilled them. They, like Levin from Anna Karenina, came to find value in simplicity, rather than constantly seeking.
As a famous wizard once said “It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live”. But what happens when the dream is ongoing: persistent? What happens when you have to keep “waking” yourself up?
Maybe, like Tolstoy, Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, or King, you have a gift. Everyone thinks they do. And everyone overestimates. But sometimes you just know. Especially when you’ve put so much time and energy into it.
Sometimes I wonder if all that time and energy was worthwhile. Or for nothing. When I see myself nearly broke and searching for jobs I feel like I should have put the pen and paper aside. And spent more time working on practical things. It feels like the world has raced ahead of me.
The question becomes: do I throw aside the “creative” aspect? Is that part of my writing a “lost dream”? Sometimes I wonder. Does being “sufficient” demand that you silence large ambitions in exchange for smaller ones?
When I’m writing it feels as though an entire world is coming alive at my fingertips. It gives me a thrill to build stories: to imagine their lives of characters. What if I can’t find the same “thrill” in another ambition?
That scares me sometimes. It makes me cognizant of the fact that I’m in my 20s and can no longer spend my time living in “dreamland”. So how to re-saturate myself?
Are my stories and characters destined to live in a box? Lately, learning to sustain has been to focus point of my life. Meaning that other things have taken a backseat. Will they stay there, inevitably, I wonder?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing, though. That’s just too a much a part of me. Sometimes I’ve wished it away, though. In order to make myself better at other things. In order to feel more “in-touch” with them. And less isolated.
No man is an island. But a lot of writers were probably born on one. Where do we go with our passions, when the truth of reality outweighs them? Or else seems to. Because not everybody’s a Dickens or Hemingway.
When you see the divergence between your work and your talents, it feels like you have to make a decision. Either choose one or the other. And, more than likely, you’re going to choose the one that pays the bills.
But I’ll still continue writing, in whatever field I choose. Because writing IS me. Even if the more creative part doesn’t land me a bestseller. Hopefully it does one day.
Maybe this isn’t a dream “lost”. Maybe it’s a dream redefined.