I have been so ridiculously indecisive about my ultimate career lately that it’s maddening. Since getting a contract though, I know I want writer to be part of my career plans, but in order to do that, I’m going to need a compatible career (assuming I can’t be a full-time writer by the time I graduate) that will allow room for writing without stressing me out. I don’t have a high threshold for stress, and I’m okay with that and accept it. I don’t want to depend on Xanax or Klonopin to help me manage my stress, not when lifestyle changes can help me manage better.
I don’t know if you guys know this, but currently I’m going for a degree in English Middle Education simply because I love English and adore that age group. But, at first, the only reason I switched to teaching is because it seems like a more assured job than finding some sort of editing job. I eventually grew excited about the idea, but my excitement began to wane as I realized that I don’t have a high stress threshold, and I refuse to depend on anti-anxiety meds to deal with it. The one teacher I job shadowed for was on Xanax, even though her stress was totally natural and not something that needed to be dealt with using a medicine for people who have real problems managing anxiety, even just for leaving the house!
So I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, but I’m going to put up with the program because I can’t keep constantly switching my degree, or else I’m never going to graduate. It seems like being a teacher won’t allow me any room to write. As I’ve said, I have a low threshold for stress, and English teachers, especially, have work to take home every night. How am I going to be able to squeeze in any writing with the workload they have? I don’t think it’s possible. You can tell me all you want that if I really love writing, I’ll make time for it, but if my brain is making me feel depressed from the stress, my writing isn’t going to be so fantastic.
Once again, I’m going back to the goal of doing some editorial type work. I don’t need an English degree with some editorial track. After all, I’ve already got editorial experience and am still gathering more. Freelance editorial work and tutoring will certainly help, and–awesome surprise of awesomeness–my writing group will be starting an e-zine that we want to go to print so we can ultimately pay the writers! It’s ambitious, but our group consists of ten people. It’s not like The Corner Club Press, which is only ran by two. I’m still going to keep up with CCP, of course, but it’s forever going to remain online because I don’t have a big enough group to make it otherwise and am already satisfied with the success CCP has had.
Either I am going to be a full-time freelance editor/part-time writer or part-time writer or actually work for a local magazine in the CSRA. I will let the future surprise me, but I know teaching is not for me. Even my therapist thinks teaching would just crush me, especially because I am a very creative person and the teaching environment as it is is very constricting.
As I’ve said, I’ll stick to the teaching degree, but it’s no longer what I want to do. Who knows? I might have fun with it regardless.
2 thoughts on “The Ping-Ponging of my Career Goals”
I agree. It’s really hard sometimes to find a career that a) suits you personally and b) allows you to pursue writing. I struggle with the same problem. But what I’ve come to believe is that everything eventually works itself out as long as you continue to follow your dreams / heart and keep your eyes open for the right opportunities. Just don’t give up, Amber. 🙂
I have absolutely no plans to give up. I will make this work somehow because it has to work. Being a writer is part of who I am.