Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fill The Role You Love

When I was in college, the most annoying thing that I heard was my classmates saying, "I like to write, but I'm not a writer." First of all, a writer is literally one who writes, so it's just not worth sweating. More importantly, though, is that it highlighted an underlying concept: these people believed that they were not supposed to be professional creative writers. 

This is not uncommon. Society brainwashes and conditions us to believe that we have to work jobs that are miserable; we have to suffer to succeed. As part of that, when we do see the rare individual who makes a life doing the thing we dream of, we convince ourselves that they're different, special, better than us. And because they're better than us, they deserve to have a fun life while we toil. 

I call bullshit on the entire concept. Suffering does not make people better. (There are just as many scumbags in The Hills as there are in The Hood.) more importantly, we are not born to slave away at miserable tasks. There are things that make us happy, and those are the things that we should be doing every day. If you want to be a writer, then write. Trust that the best writers you've ever heard of had fear all the time. Even after being successfully published, it doesn't go away. They just kept hammering away at it. 

Admittedly, most people have the problem of wanting to be a writer (or whatever job) but not feeling deserving of it. The opposite can also happen: sometimes people feel pressured to do a job that they don't want because it's "a good job" or they're "so good at it." None of that matters. If you're a good writer, but you have no desire to be a professional writer, then don't do it. 

It's not a bad or shameful thing to not want to have a job that society admires. What is shameful is trying to occupy a role you don't want because you think you have to or ought to. Fill the role you love. Some people may want to create legislation and others may want to sweep floors. But as long as you're happy and enjoy your life, you're doing the right thing. 

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