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Hi JB, and welcome to Breakfast at Epiphanie’s! I was taught breakfast was the most important meal of the day…but it’s far from the last time you’re likely to eat. I’m an old man who’s started over from zero five or six times. I’m telling you that in part to emphasize that it’s gone down so many times I’d have to sit here and think to figure out if it was five or six.

As for the shoes, well I’ve moved with nothing more than I could pack into my car — all the way down to what I could carry in a single shoulder bag. Don’t worry about quitting that job either…everything you do in this life contributes to everything you do after it.

About 20yrs ago, I moved from being a musician to being a writer. Both were best classified as “callings” since I had to engage in what became a series of actual careers in order to live. Success consisted in getting most or all of my income to come from related fields. I took this experience into my new writing life & found editing to be my most dependable & valuable skill. You have a head start there — I’ve learned some of the most important things I know about writing from editing — and perfectly sane people give me money for learning!

So…a couple of final words. Learning is far more important these days that academic credentials. In journalism, there are many fine online courses about different aspects of journalism. (Knight has some good stuff — I took their online course in data journalism when I was doing regular editorial work for a government official who was expected to turn statistics into speeches & articles.) So, please, do not go back into debt getting some kind of academic credential. Everybody you work for is going to judge according to the words on the page, not the certificates hanging on your wall.

Ultimately, I suggest you avoid debt entirely. It is probably the most soul-crushing invention humanity’s ever come up with — it literally forces people to waste their lives in its service. In today’s gig economy, debt & the life of a journalist — or any writer — is contraindicated.

Welcome, JB, to a whole new life…enjoy your breakfast!

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