“If I wanted a stable job I’d be a jockey.” -me, on the state of things in the universe
It’s been two months since I graduated college and my fans (read: friends I neglect to Skype with) are wondering what I’ve been up to.
Rather than getting my Latin Honors tattooed down my arm and prancing around with a fancy job title like “Assistant to Executive” or “Data Expert” or “Entry Level Person in Charge of Corporate Tasks” I’ve chosen the most glamorous title of Writer. Professional Writer, that is.
Yes, readers, I am a writer. A professional writer. Crazy, I know. The title of student has been ripped away from me, replaced by a diploma I have yet to receive in the mail, and suddenly when people ask what I do I have to tell them something legitimate.
A typical conversation goes like this:
“What do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
“What do you write?”
It seems that no one really understands what writers do.
With three Columbia friends, I started a culture and lifestyle website, where we aim to put a new spin on media and public relations with local businesses. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun, but we all know that’s not where the money is. If you do however want to invest in/buy NeuralPop for a large sum, let’s talk. It’s nice to have a place to collaborate and share with a new audience, but often leaves me confused on what I should be personally blogging about here, or what I want to share in my NeuralPop voice over on our website.
In the two and a half months of my professional writing career (because apparently everything published before this doesn’t really count), I’ve learned a few things about becoming a writer.
Firstly, it’s one of the most independent careers you can have. If I sleep all day and get no work done, it’s pretty much on me. Unless I have a deadline, which I’m actually pretty good about, thanks to college and stuff. I’m constantly on the job hunt, for contracts and columns, which I actually find pretty fun, as the opportunities are endless.
Everyone’s a writer these days. Not a good one, necessarily, but you have to make your work stand out, have a particular voice and style.
You can’t just do one thing. Ideally, I’d be sitting and writing fiction all day. But no. There’s no money in that. (And yeah, I’m blaming you, reader who isn’t buying books). But I’ve found creative ways to make money via the written word, without sacrificing too much integrity.
Pieces without bylines will indelibly pay more, but at least it’s good writing practice! I’ve also been lucky enough to be commissioned to ghostwrite a young adult novel, which isn’t leading to any worldwide book tours, but I’m 22, I can wait a few years.
So yes, world, this is what I’m up to. Any tips or advice or praise are welcome in the comments!