This important lesson is one that has taken me a few years to learn and inculcate in my life. Don’t take to heart what other people say. In the past, someone could mention one hurtful phrase about me and it would crush me. Today, I’ve survived so many other hurtful things that it doesn’t phase me as much.
Recently, a family member of mine pulled the “writers don’t make money” card. I usually ignore this family member’s taunt about my dream of being a writer and how it is downright idiotic that I would pursue such a dream.
But, instead of sweeping this argument under the rug. I started a conversation and asked this family member to give me some additional evidence. She stated that writing isn’t a useful profession since no one reads anymore.
I reminded her that she receives business copy and documents that she reads from the mail which contains important information regarding her health and services rendered. She countered with the fact that she hardly reads that stuff. And, I added that the writer gets paid regardless.
I also shared the fact that most careers do not make money right at the start. Even established businesses started somewhere between a good idea and a pipe dream.
The fact that I want to be a writer doesn’t mean I only want to do it as my sole means of income. That would be fantastic if I could live off of only my writing. But, I am very realistic, starting out, you need to build an audience and actually put in the effort necessary to sell your work. This family member only sees me putting in effort towards my writing, but never sees me making millions. As if I should somehow be a Cardi B or Kylie Jenner after writing a few blog posts and one short story.
I continued to speak with my family member, and refused to make an argument out of our conversation, and I brought up the fact that I worked in insurance for six years. It was soul crushing work. And, now that I no longer work in insurance, I have nothing to show for it. I just paid bills and woke up angry every single day, even on the weekends. It was all meaningless to me.
So, while I understand that she is concerned about my wellbeing. I know what is best for myself. I need a job and steady income. That’s fine and reasonable. But, I want to write for myself. Not for greenbacks, not for approval from other people, but because I love to write.