Is writing the way to go?
My grandfather was a literature professor and a writer. He wrote many books of which, to my shame, I have read very few. My mother writes textbooks for the subjects she teaches at her faculty. I have read none of them either. But even so, I am thinking of starting my own writing career. I wonder how many of my works will my child read.
When I was a little girl I used to write poetry. It was rubbish poetry, childish and silly, but people used to say I have talent. I even won a couple of local contests. Then I stopped. You have to be in a certain mood to write poetry. Sad, frightened, in love. No weak feelings can make the words combine in the right way. It seems that, as you grow, you have less and less time to feel, and spend more time acting.
Many years later, I started writing again. This time, not out of love, but out of need. Don’t get me wrong: I love writing. But if my job hadn’t required that of me, who knows when I would have found time and patience. So, for a couple of years I’ve been a part time blogger for a company producing intimate hygiene products. I was writing in Serbian, which is my first language. Doesn’t sound like something you can easily put on your CV, or at least not without imagining some HR person over there giggling while checking out your application. On the other hand, in my full time job, I was always acting as part of a big IT company, hiding under the name and logo. The need for writing there was limited to emails and occasional proposal or copy for a page, or two. Then things got complicated.
I moved out and on, started my own freelance career in another country, where I know no-one. I needed to get noticed and quickly if I want to survive. No, not needed. I need to get noticed. True, I kept my old part-time jobs, but they won’t get me very far in the UK. This means that I have to be exceptional: no more hiding behind mum’s skirt, or the big company’s name. I need to step out on my own.
Problem is, I haven’t yet decided which path to take. Whether I should do web development and design (I’ve recently finished an advanced course), whether I should be a project manager (I have several years of experience)? Should I maybe do sales (I’m being encouraged by my ex-company and sent to a course in the near future)? If I could blog and copy-write for living (it seems I have the feeling for it), I would gladly do that, after overcoming the “not-a-native-speaker” prejudice that some people might have. As ever, throughout my life, I would do everything, just to prove myself that I can.
Or because I’m afraid to choose one vocation, and fail in it.
What if my child never reads what I have written?
P.S. This text was written for a contest for a DFW writing course scholarship.