I, and many college graduates in 2009, didn’t expect to graduate into a world with no jobs, and yet we did. I was, perhaps happy for awhile. We had a savings at the time, and Ryan hadn’t yet lost his job. I watched way too much Buffy, lived off of yogurt and farmer’s market berries with iced coffee while writing all day and I should have been happy.
I should have used the time to write and submit and publish. But I am in love with the art of creation, as much as any other writer. I am incredibly hard on myself and am not inclined to think a thing is ever truly ready. I should have decided to aproach my writing as a business then. Vut at 25, I was just too you, too inexperienced with anything outside retail, and far too unconfident. Even though, to many people around me I didn’t seem it. I looked my most confident back then. I appeared and sometimes even convinced myself that I felt the most self-assured.
But I didn’t do the one thing I wanted with my life: make a living off of my writing. I spent so much time blogging and trying to understand the changing publishing world, that I did not take the leap. I didn’t believe in myself. Not really.
I thought that I did.
Unemployment taught me to feel guilty about my writing to think of it as an effort that didn’t earn me a paycheck. A time sink that ate up all the time that I should have spent applying for jobs.
It taught me that I chased my value--not as a writer like I thought I did--but relative to a paycheck. What a great disservice I did myself.
At least unemployment taught me that in order to move forward as a writer, the one great area I needed to work on was confidence. In time, the lesson was learned and now I can make a decision about what direction to move in. I understand that I need to make money from my art to see myself as professional, as contributing to the amazing world of literature. I learned that when I don’t fully engage with these things I wound myself. I deny myself.
I have to--had to--find confidence in my own abilities in order to give myself what I need. A future as an author. A professional writer. So now I can work toward that goal.