July 10, 2008

Midnight Musings

Photo Credit: Evan Jones

When I was in second grade I won a poetry contest with this:

Thanksgiving day is lots of fun
Because I get to play and run
My Grandma cooks a pumpkin pie
And Grandpa wears his favorite tie

I don't remember who was judged, if my competition was just the other second graders or my entire elementary school. But I do remember my name being announced at the an all-school assembly. I froze in my green vinyl covered chair and hoped they didn't make me come up on stage. They did, of course, and I had to read it out loud. I've blacked this part out of my memory. I do remember being handed a white envelope with a check for $100 in it. 

One savings account and fire red, Barbie Ferrari later, I knew I would always be a writer. And not my teachers or anyone in my family ever stopped encouraging me to do so. 

I became a pragmatist very early on and by high school I convinced myself that I would never actually make money by writing. It's my "passion," to put a tired description on it, and in my world people don't get paid for what they like to do, only what they have to do. 

Recently, however, I've been shown a new light. People in Los Angeles get paid to do what they love quite a lot and "passion" very often is synonymous with "career." 

Will getting paid to live a more literary life ruin it for me? Will it turn into drudgery once I'm being forced to do it to survive? Creating art with words is the most challenging thing in my life, but nothing is more fulfilling when it happens. 

1 comment:

Mrs. Dobson said...

That's the most challenging thing that I deal with, too, which is why I guess teaching is the answer for me. If I'm forced to make art or take photos I end up resenting my talents and abilities! I find that I create in cycles...I'll go for months and not make a single thing, then one day I'll explode.

Tortured artists we are, indeed...