“Once you start, what is it really?”
In my early 20’s I tried figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. By my mid 20’s what I wanted actually involved working toward the goal. And the main goal was to be self employed in my career endeavor. Now that I know what I want to do, which is working as an Independent Filmmaker as well as a Novelists, I go how should I really attack this goal. At the moment I am finishing up my first novel & book of short stories and working on my next short film. My age for self employment is 30/31 years of age. But there is this uncomfortable grey area that people have a hard time discussing.
The hard discussion for self employment for starters is the day-to-day work. With my career interests, it’s not like working at an office starting my own company or managing my own restaurant. Sustaining myself as a writer means spending a lot of time sitting in a room alone. And with my own thoughts, pushing out something, not always compelling, but something that will capture a readers attention. Here is the catch, capture their attention where they will want to purchase my books or watch my films. How do you know what people will gravitate to is tough.
Like right now, I am finishing my first book about a boy who can talk to God. God gives him guidance as he navigates life coming from elementary school into middle school. But also aiding him in coming to grips with a divisive household as well. Sounds interesting to me, but how will it be received by an audience. Will they go, this is interesting, I want more from this author, or will they say, stick to your day job. Only time will tell; and yet that’s just the writing. What about living on a day to day basis? You don’t know what your income could be month to month. You might make $5,000 one month and $500 the next.
That’s why being an established writer is important. But how do you know even when you’re established how much you will make. And don’t get me started on the film career. How will it get written? Is it good enough of a story to write? If written, who wants to purchase the script? Who wants to invest in my script to make into a film? Once finished will it get distribution or will I have to self distribute? Even with all what has been said, will anyone want to watch the movie? So here I am, two careers that are extreme risk. A risk that could make you very very successful or a failure.
I guess that’s why parents encourage their children to go to school, get a half descent career. Then every two weeks get your check, pay bills, eat, maybe a vacation per year and that’s it. It’s a mundane life, but a hell of a lot safer than the unknown of being self employed; especially when you’re pursuing my interest. You grow up and tell people I want to be a doctor, a lawyer, engineer, or school teacher they smile and give you adulation for your future plans. But then if you say, hey when I grow up I want to think for a living. I want to challenge the minds of people by writing compelling stories. Oh and you really want to tick them off, use Spielberg’s saying, I dream for a living.
Most people are going to encourage you to wake up. Because there is no time to dream in the real world. And there you have it. Funny thing about me being so lost as to where I will turn next, it’s normal. A lot of young people with day jobs are asking themselves that same question. Your whole life you think there is this path to take in life for success. But the fact of the matter is that there is no path. The path can be straight, then veer left, turn right, go in reverse, and back straight again. There is no one way of getting to where you want to be. But hopefully you get there; and as long as you get there hopefully it was worth the journey.