Making Money & Art
One of the first creative writing tricks I learned in college was to write about work when you're facing writer's block. After searching through some of the short story collections I bought for class, I realized the workforce was a primary center to many literary works. Although this notion never came to my attention prior to college, I soon figured out why.
If you're a creative type, the job market isn't your friend. Maybe there was a time when writers and painters alike were contracted regularly and made some serious dough (or enough to live on), but those days are pretty much over. Sorry.
There's nothing more nauseating than searching for jobs while your heart demands you do something meaningful. In college, you learn about so many different theories that you become something of a humanitarian, but trust me, such ideologies will not help you during that first major job hunt.
If you rely on your beliefs to fulfill your needs, you won't make any money. While money isn't everything, it's a well-established social construct. Watching your savings dwindle away while you're searching for a job that fits your personality is like watching your life slowly come to a halt or an end.
So here's the key:
It's not entirely naive to think you should work in your field of study or to do what you love for a living. It's just really difficult.
While you're looking for that dream job, one which doesn't feel like a job at all, you should probably pick up one of the jobs that you feel are beneath you. If you're a creative type, this is especially good advice.
First off, you need to pay the bills. If you left college without debt, then you're a lot better off, and I hate you.
OK, I don't really hate you, but I am sure as hell envious. Nevertheless, pick up a shitty job so you have some money in the bank. This will allow you to jump jobs, states, and/or take risks in your future. Face it, you can't live the NY or LA dream if you're broke. Happiness may be priceless, but your dream standard of living might.
Also, consider your crap job an opportunity. Sure you'll be depressed at times and may consider taking up a side job as an alcoholic, but it'll get you to the point you've always dream about.
Think about all good novels, movies, etc.
Almost every form of media depict stories of strange characters doing regular things. For instance, if door-to-door is the only thing available to you, consider it. You'll gain experience with pitching (which is great for selling a story) a product, and you'll have a story you never thought about writing.
You'll also encounter many new characters in life. It's all good creative material. You even become a character. Say you hate your job but do it anyway - there's a story altogether.
These shitty jobs will give you so much to write about, good or bad, and you'll have some fun being a character in a nonfictional situation. One thing that's gotten me through the post-college blues is imagining my day job as a well-crafted story, and I am the protagonist.
Remember, subjective job hunting can always be done. Hell, you can still search for that golden opportunity while you have another job. For the sake of staying alive and less stressed, though, take any decent opportunity thrown at you. If you have to, pretend you're a character and you're job is a storyline.
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Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.