As a perennial tweenager, clearly I do not have a career. How could I? I'm a child! All of my years of working with expectant families hasn't counted as a legitimate job. Writing certainly doesn't count, either, because I write in my pajamas while my kids (and usually other neighborhood kids) destroy my house. Plus, I like writing. People don't like their jobs. That's against the rules.
But writing is what I want to do with my life. It is what I want as my career, but I don't want to call it my career because that word just sucks the joy out of all of it. But this is what I do.
I didn't go to college and rack up student loans to learn how to write. I didn't intern anywhere to prove myself. I merely sat down with a laptop and the words in my head and let them fly off into the atmosphere. Most days it feels like I don't have a clue what I'm doing, but the words are finding other people and doing something so unimaginably far beyond me.
This is real. It doesn't feel real at all, but it's real.
Half of my family and a great deal of my friends don't really understand the person I've become. They don't appreciate the long nights composing sentences and developing characters. They don't care. Well, maybe they care, but in that disjointed way someone pretends to be interested so feelings won't be hurt. Truth be told, they don't have time for books, they'd rather save themselves the trouble and wait for the movie adaptation. If I waited for these people to open their eyes and see that this is important, even as their 9-5 office job is important, I'd be waiting a long time. Forever, maybe.
Is that discouraging? Sure. But I don't let it stop me. I pick myself up, knock the dust off my sandals, and find people who want to support me--and people I will support in return. My Cartel. My Skywriters. My posse. My kindred spirits.
Conditions will never be 100% perfect for me to write, and people in my own village will never fully respect me because they see me that same old bumbling kid, but I'm doing this anyway.
What about you? Do your friends and family support your writing or your career goals?