Many people who want unorthodox careers–writers, actors, cartoonists, artists of all kinds, underwater basketweavers and snipe hunters, kung fu fighters and professional fluffers–spend their early years in careers that have nothing to do with their dream. As lawyers. Computer programmers. Salesmen.

Fuck that. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 12. I’m not going to wait until I’m 30 or 40 or 60 to start living like one.

At this point in time and space, we all need money. Most of us have to work for it. If you don’t, please leave your address and when you’ll next be out of the house. If you do have to work, if you have to put time in what’s known as a “real” job to support your quest for your “fake” one, take a look at how much time you’re putting into the former and how much into the latter. If the first outweighs the second, quit.

I’m not kidding. You’re making too much money. Either find more time for your fake job or cut back your real one. Your fake job won’t become a real career until you start treating it like one.

Or for a long time after that. Which is why you should get serious about it right now.

The money of a traditional career might be a safety net, but it’s not a very good one. Your corpse won’t end up any more nutritious than mine. I don’t want you standing behind a counter helping people buy slacks with someone else’s name on them. I want you lying on your floor in your pajamas sculpting Chewbaccas out of pipecleaners because that’s what you want to do with your life god damn it. So quit making money and start making pipecleaner Chewbaccas. If you try that for ten years and you’re not one step closer to making a living at it, you know what, late-stage capitalism will still be out there. They’ll still need dentists and retailers and personal trainers.

But at least you tried, and failed, to do what you really want, and probably had a lot more fun even when you were failing than you would have tallying someone else’s cash flow or selling someone else’s product.

I want to be a writer. I’m living like one before I can make a living as one. It’s pretty fucking fun. Failure ahoy.

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