For the most part I guess anyone believes their job is the best as long as they like doing it, which there in lies the question. I’m going to say that a lot of people don’t necessarily like the job they are going to every morning. People who like their job, more than that people who have a passion for what they do will always believe there is no other profession. I remember being in high school unable to fathom how anyone could choose a career other than writing. I couldn’t see any other profession holding as much intrigue and pull than that of being a writer. I love the world of writing although I don’t make my living as one which poses yet another question.
My father loves to build things however he hates the business side of any profession. So I have to wonder to myself will I still love writing when I discover the business side of it. Perhaps I was too hard on people in my previous statement. Maybe that’s the case with most; they simply hate the business end of their careers. When your young say playing doctor you don’t think about not being able to treat a patient because they are uninsured. The business end of my own particular career entails a great deal of compromise over editorial jurisdiction. I don’t know how I would feel if someone were to edit let alone criticize my work. Writers are notoriously insecure and I am no exception.
My mother is a medical assistant. She loves her job with the exception of the business part of it, the politics basically. She likes drawing blood and interacting with the patients. I know when she was in school she really enjoyed herself; I believe she still enjoys her job, but I think she idealized what it was going to be like. I’m afraid that’s what I’ve done.
I imagine myself winning the Pulitzer and becoming rich not to mention famous. In reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’m romanticizing this career, and I know it’s going to be a rude awakening when I’m published at long last. Writing in itself is a very romantic and alluring profession. Of coarse that’s not the reason I love it. I’m drawn to it because there is nothing else that even comes close to the passion I feel about writing. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been told I’m good at it as well.
Which draws another question, what does one do when the thing they are passionate about doesn’t love them back? I don’t know what I’d do if I were told I couldn’t make it as a writer. It would crush my soul; I wouldn’t know what to do. I have never gone to college to hone my craft; I do think I’m a better writer now than I was in high school. However I’ve discovered it’s not just what you’re passionate about it’s also what you have a gift for.
Those people who are gifted at what they are passionate about are the most fortunate individuals in this life. I can’t say for sure but I hope I am one of those lucky people. There’s a line from a movie that goes you do what you love and fuck the rest. I would have to say that this advice works for me.
One day I hope to be able to tolerate the business end of my future writing career. Tolerance that is the price we must pay for doing what we love. I wish everyone finds what they were meant to do and does it with the same love and care that I write with every single day.
I have since run into a snag when it comes to my writing. I have to be forced to do it. It’s now like a gasp, a job! My biggest problem is I don’t want to write when my mental illness’s are acting up, so to speak. I suffer from three of them and it’s very problematic to write while suffering a high or low from bipolar disorder or worrying about how you have to go somewhere next week (agoraphobia), or wondering if you’ll ever be able to be in a loving healthy relationship (borderline personality disorder). Mental illness takes a lot of my time and gets in the way of my writing career.
One thing I’ve learned though is not to get discouraged if I write one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, or one chapter. It’s still writing, even if I had days where I couldn’t write anything, that’s o.k too. It’s going to happen.
People think writing for me is more of a hobby because my illness’s prevent me from doing it everyday and that’s fine. It’s a struggle for me to sit down at my computer and write my novel, short story or poetry but being sick has to taken priority over writing. It’s unfortunate that my mental health has to come first but it does. I wouldn’t be able to write anything if it didn’t.
I said I didn’t like the business side of writing, I probably never will but what true artist does? It gives me a migraine to think of publishing. It’s hard enough just to get myself to write with my illness’s, I know when the time comes to publish I will probably be scheduling extra sessions with my therapist!
I love to write but the problem with having a mental illness is it steals what you love, it steals your joy. You no longer find pleasure in what you love to do which makes writing no longer fun. I hate my mental illness for stealing my passion. But I take my medicine and go to therapy and fight the illness. And eventually the joy of writing finds me again.
For all of you struggling to write with a mental illness I leave you with these words, your passion doesn’t die, it just fades from time to time, don’t give up…
Thanks for your post, Margaret! I look forward to having you again and let’s continue this discussion guys. What obstacles have you faced during your writing career? Be it a disability, work, school or children; what have YOU overcome to achieve your dreams?
Check out Margaret’s writing at the link below!