It’s Elysia and I have a few things to say. (no collective sigh).
It was brought to my attention this afternoon that my earlier post could be misconstrued as offensive. So, I took it down. I am trying again. Stay with me readers. I will do my best to explain.
So, the main point of my post earlier was to teach people to think before they speak–I am trying to take a dose of my own medicine, here–and it’s time we get back to that original thought. The premise of my first post was that I had a conversation with someone I know about my choice to pursue Creative writing as my major and surprise surprise, I found myself offended. Now, keep in mind, it is important not to fly off the handle when offended. Don’t go out and publish a blog post for the whole world to sit and read and then think, hmmm I wonder who set that bitch off. Because, that is not the point. So many times, we ask questions of each other that are offensive and we don’t even realize it. My friend Natalie brought up the point, asking a writer how they plan to make money is almost the same as asking a med student how they plan to have a family and a life. Well, in both scenarios, it’s probably not appropriate to ask either questions. Really, maybe the writer doesn’t care about money and maybe the soon-to-be doctor doesn’t want a family.
That being said.
I am going to focus on the writer now.
If you are interested in finding out why a writer wants to write when, of course, there are so many more lucrative industries out there, then first things first:
1. watch your tone.
I know that I, as a writer, don’t want to be made to feel that my goals and dreams are not worth it. I don’t want to be made to feel insignificant because I don’t want to pursue business or math or science. And all it takes is some one with a poor tone asking a simple question to make me feel that way.
2. pay attention.
When people genuinely ask me a question, I will answer genuinely. But, I don’t want to repeat myself 70 different ways. If I say that I want to write flash fiction…and you don’t know what that means…ask me. I don’t want to have to continually explain that, no I will not be getting my novel published anytime soon.
3. keep in mind that money is a hard subject.
Don’t ask a writer how they plan to make a living. Please. That’s probably the most difficult thing to hear. I for one, will most likely get a 9-5 job until I finish my MFA. But, others won’t. Others will go straight to grad school. Others will be teachers. Others keep writing as a hobby. And others, they make writing their life. They blog, they copy edit, they find the ways to do what they love and have what they need. That is commendable.
Now. I’ve given a few things to avoid and I’ve tried to do it in a way that is straight-laced and up front. I want to be a writer. I don’t want to be a nurse, or a secretary, or a fast food worker. My job that is not writing, doesn’t define me. The questioners out there. The ones who don’t understand us…our passion for words, our apathy toward mainstream culture, our drive to do something that may appear meaningless…to those people, I advise not to ask anything. You don’t want our job and we will never want yours. Understand that. Accept it.
thanks folks for reading this. Feel free to ask whatever you want below. I will do my best to answer.