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it gives a lovely light

I think one of the hardest things about going into a creative field is the fact that you're not guaranteed success. Sure, you need to work hard and make connections and be original and insightful etc, but you can do all that and it still might not work out.

I've gotten pretty tired of successful writers, journalists, and creatives talking about how hard you need to work in order to get where they are, without realizing how lucky they are. Going into this industry is scary, and empty encouragement from people who have already made it doesn't bring me much comfort. 

I've decided the trick is to be attached to the craft of writing itself, and not so much the identity, or the idea that it's your occupation. That's what I tell myself. Because, that way, if I have to be an insurance salesman or something, everything will be alright as long as I still have time to write.

I honestly can't picture myself ever not writing, and I'm not just saying that to sound pretentious or super passionate or anything like that. I've been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember and I don't see that stopping. I'm not always a good writer. As I'm writing this right now, I can feel the embarrassment of my future self. But it's just like a natural response. Sometimes words just have to be said (or written). 

I've been fortunate enough to have had several great mentors throughout my career, and have been given some great advice on how to succeed in journalism, but I think realizing that there are no guarantees has been one of the most beneficial things for me. I create for myself now, and I make things I'm proud of, not things that I think will be impressive to other people.

Writing is subjective. There's no scoreboard. You'll never know if what you wrote was actually bad, or if it was just seen by the wrong people. Or, conversely, if what you wrote was actually good, or if you were just lucky to have caught someone on the right day. You have to trust yourself. You have to be self-reliant. Cliche as it sounds, you have to please yourself first.


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