Removing the Disguise: Where Your Dream Lies

The modern creative, whether they be painters, sculptors, poets, playwrights, or musicians, don’t enjoy the peace of mind that many professions provide. That’s not to say that you can’t make a living producing your own creative works, but the road is certainly more treacherous. Where many professions have clear paths to employment (specifically those involved with vocations and STEM fields) liberal arts require a considerable amount of footwork. Moreover, STEM fields and vocations tend to train prospective practitioners on exactly what it is they intend to do for a living. The case is not quite as simple for the breed of people who call themselves creatives.  I know from first-hand experience, that passion doesn’t necessarily translate to profit.

During college, I chose to study English, and while there are many jobs that look to employ English majors, they aren’t quite specific to the skills that many English majors would learn during their schooling. Jobs like copywriter, content writer, PR specialists, and editors are the usual suspects when you search for jobs suitable for English majors. However, they don’t exactly allow those of us who got into liberal arts for the love of the art to have a particularly fulfilling work life. In my case, I’ve done the rounds on job board after job board, looking for a career path that would allow me to tap into my creative inclination for poetry and prose. But what I’ve found often, are companies looking for “excellent writers” or “rock-star editors familiar with real estate industry”. It seems more likely that they aren’t really looking for English majors, rather they’re looking for advertising majors, or real estate agents who can write like English majors.

So more frequently, I’ve been forced to specialize my knowledge into niche career fields. As a result, I know far too much obscure information about SEO best practices, keyword searches, and site analytics, but I say all this to illustrate the need to delay self-gratification in pursuit of a larger pay-off. I’ve gone through the trouble of learning these skills for the sake of the larger dream of producing creative writing. And that’s exactly where the modern creative finds themselves. Like everything else, we must evolve. Graphic designers are the new painters. Rappers are the new poets. The playwrights have been usurped by the screenplays and streaming platforms, and music…well music is still music (for the most part). Sometimes what’s for you isn’t what’s easy so once you’ve found your passion, it’s up to you to keep it safe from whatever might pollute the process.

 I know it’s not exactly a revelation to sacrifice for your dreams, but what’s most important is living a life that you can reflect on and say that not a moment was wasted. You’ll be able to say that you moved with a doom bound determination towards your dreams.

I’ll leave you with a final thought. American Poet, Robert Frost, preferred the road less traveled (finally using that B.A in English ) and if you’re reading this, the case is probably the same for you. It’s got a bit more roadblocks and it’s a bit scarier, but where it leads is sure to make all the difference.

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