No, no, no, I’m not changing my job as a writer. I still love writing and publishing and will continue to do that until I retire from the scene, but recently I just had a change of heart regarding some of my other life happenings right now.
So, I graduated college from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Advertising. In my mind the perfect combination. I was going to be the best copywriter ever, just like Don Draper himself. Than graduation came, and I looked for jobs and all the Ad Agency jobs require experience (well tell me, where do I get this experience you so claim I should have already)? An option, to go to copywriting school but since I live in Wisconsin and the Big 3 (Creative Circus, Miami Ad School, and VCU) are all on the east cost, that option would be arduous to say the least. With that being said, I have been trying to get my foot in the door at marketing arenas but have thus been unsuccessful which has been really depressing on my part. You know, they say to you, get a good GPA in college, be involved in organizations and internships, and you’ll have a job after college. I did all of that. Check. Check. and Check. I was president of 3 organizations, 3.6 GPA had an advertising internship, but still couldn’t find a job.
So, I used a little bit of my sales experience and started selling insurance, which is fine, I don’t mind it but passionately, it’s not me. I want to be an author. I love going to critique sessions and seeing other peoples work and helping them market their own book since publishing this first one has plunged me so deep in the industry its amazing. I have learned so much from this road of self-exploration and publishing my book than any amount of internships could teach me. But, with that being said, selling insurance is hard work. Don’t get me wrong you can make a lot of money at it if you are passionate about it and stick in it long enough, but that is where it is hard for me. Call me stupid but what is going to get my name out there to establish my platform as an author more, selling insurance or taking time to write stories and submit them to magazines? Probably the latter. What pays the bills? Probably the former. But the former is commission only and I have to fill up my gas tank every two days to drive to appointments which makes it not probably for me at this point in my life. Basically, it’s like I am starting up to companies at once which is a definite strain on a budget.
Then, I got to thinking. My friend recently just became a teacher and I am so proud of him for that and honestly my mom was a teacher for 38 years and although she had a messed up schedule, she had her summers off and a steady, secure job. Something I relish and crave and want. My personality, I think, would make me a great teacher and already having the experience in marketing and writing I could teach kids about things that they will need or want to know going into college. So now I have decided to go back to school to get my teacher’s certification in English so I can teach at the high school level.
This job would be fantastic for a number of reasons. (1) It’d be steady pay. (2) I can get the joy of a critique session while I am working and love being able to help students with their writing. (3) It would compliment my writing schedule the most, allowing me summers off to write like it’s my job. Oh wait, it kind of is. (4) When thinking about where most books take off nowadays what age range do you imagine? I would say mostly young adults in their high school years to early college years because they have the most time to read. If students knew that their teacher wrote a book, maybe they would go out and buy it. Who knows? From there it has the chance to expand, but those are all just my hopes, dreams and aspirations. We will see how that actually turns out.
But, for now, I am bent on going back to school to become an teacher because at heart it’s something I want to do. Also, my dad passed along to me the Wisconsin G.I. Bill which paid for my first bachelor’s degree to get me out of college debt free–something I cannot be grateful enough for. But my dad told me recently that if I went back to school the bill would grant me a stipend of a certain amount per month to help pay for education until the age of 26. So, if I am going to go back and do anything, now would be the time. And I finally pushed myself to make it that time. I am in the process right now of getting everything registered for spring semester so I can start and get my new career path on track.
I hope it works out for me and I guess a quote I just came up with recently that I have really liked is this, “The scariest thing about taking the plunge? Not knowing if the water will be deep or shallow.” I like that quite a bit and can’t wait to see what this plunge has in store for me.