For the past week or so (okay, more than a week), I've been stuck in this really odd funk. It was a pinch of melancholy and depression over a heap of anxiety, and it combined into something fierce and ugly. It's taken me days, and many sleepless nights, to try to unravel why I've been feeling so...off lately. And I think I finally am able to put a pin in the problem... I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.
A question that keeps getting lobbed in my direction is: "What would you do if you weren't a writer?" I tend to laugh this question off and say that I would do a little bit of everything. Even when I was in college, it was obvious that I liked to hop from subject to subject to subject. I mean, I changed my major about four or five times before I settled on English and Creative Writing (fiction). But this question has been snagging at my brain again, because even though I love writing with all of my dark, dark heart, I'm starting to come to the sad realization that it might not be feasible to call my career as an author as my main source of income.
So... now what? Now that I'm staring down the barrel of my life and having to make some fiscally savvy and "safe" decisions about my career, what do I actually see myself doing? It's finally time to answer that question people keep asking me, I guess. The thing is, I don't think I will ever not be a writer. Obviously. I want to keep writing and publishing books until the day I drop dead in front of my computer, hopefully many, many years from now. But what else do I want to do?
To answer that question, I dove back through my college notes and curriculum. What classes sparked my interest and enthusiasm, and are also feasible careers. (Also known as "traditional jobs." Which sounds horrible, but really isn't, if it's a job you are passionate about.) You know what kept popping up? Journalism. Marketing. Public relations. New media jobs. And then it started to click. I could take the passion I have of helping artists and other creative-types like myself get their name out there and turn that into a career! I already have a number of years under my belt studying (and even working in) public relations/social media marketing. I just need to refine it, and maybe study a little more.
For now, I think I have a plan. My new goal is to go back to school for my Masters in Communication with a concentration in marketing and new media. In the meantime, I'll explore options working in an entry level position for a company where I can do exactly what I'll be studying, and then, down the road, there's a prize waiting for me. Well, maybe not prize. Goal? Sure. It's another goal.
I want to open my own boutique digital marketing and public relations consulting firm that will leverage new media to help clients reach a broad range of consumers. I want to help artists on the publicity side of things so they can spend their time focusing on the creative side of what they do. I want to take all I've learned as an author myself, working in publishing, to help market others' and their passions. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I've already started to build toward this dream, and even have a practically-empty website (see it here) where I will eventually launch these services. By this time next year, maybe my dream will be a reality! I'll tell you one thing... it's giving me hope and driving me forward!
What's driving you forward nowadays?