Thursday, January 14, 2016

Boasting About Tomorrow?

For a long time I thought I knew what I wanted to do.  I was going to get my BA in Creative Writing at Seton Hill University and then move to New York City to work for one of the major SFF imprints there, hopefully Tor Books.  I was even interviewed for a column in my local newspaper, the Daily American, in which I stated that as my plan.  That was in November of 2014, I believe.  It wasn't too long after that that I changed my mind on both fronts.

I am not a city person.  I like people, but I don't think I would like living within several miles of millions of people.  Then there's the whole survival aspect.  An editor can survive in NYC, but can one live?  Can one raise a family there comfortably?  Ethically?  The answers to all of these questions are probably "yes," but why take the gamble?  Between that and "cultural" issues, I decided that staying near home and trying to make a difference in the local area was the better fit for me.

I was a finalist for a full-tuition scholarship to Seton Hill U.  Had I gotten it I might have been tempted, but I was passed over, and the offer by the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown was too good to pass up.  My books, tuition, and fees are paid for as long as I commute, keep my GPA up, and maintain financial need.  I am studying Creative Writing as in my original plan.  That part hasn't changed.

So what do I want to do with myself?  I tell you the truth, I'm not really sure.  And I'm alright with that.  Read James 4:13-15.  I found the passage in late 2014 while I was mulling things over.  I know that it doesn't dismiss us from being responsible about our futures, but I do have structure to what I would like to do.  I'm just not keen on saying that I'm going to do any specific job.  Anything could happen between now and 2019 when (if God wills it) I'll receive my BA.

My aspirations lie in publishing.  I'm also very interested in teleplay and play-writing.  Or I might go in a completely different direction and work full time as a pastor (I definitely want to get my pastoral license at some point, but more time and prayer are required before I make that decision for certain).  For the purposes of this class, I will stick with publishing, specifically small presses, magazines, and anthologies.

Banking on making a living solely as a magazine or anthology editor is not a bank I would take to the bank.  Working for or operating a small press is much more realistic.  Side-work with anthologies and/or magazines is likely in my future no matter what I do as my base profession.  I am not quite so bold as to try opening my own press straight out of college, so if I do end up taking that path, I will almost certainly work for several years or decades first.

I won't boast about tomorrow; I have no clue what tomorrow will bring.  Am I worried about it?  A little.  Right now I'm just living one hour at a time.  My expenses are low and I can survive in my parents' house just fine for the next few years cutting grass and occasionally filling the pulpit at my church.  Summer jobs will come, more than likely beginning with this year.  I have faith that when these decisions need to be made I'll know how to decide.  All I have to do is live for today and for Him and I know I'll be alright.


  1. Taking things day by day is a good start, especially since your situation allows you to do just that. But sometimes you just have to take life by the horns and step out of your comfort zone a little. It's easier when you're young, single and don't have a family to worry about. I wish I could go back to school and take new classes, creative writing would be one of many I'd want to take. Anyway, it sounds like you have a solid goal, even if tomorrow may seem uncertain. Just keep working hard and doing what you love, and things will work out for you. :)

    1. I very much agree with you. I try to balance the two in my head, but waiting for the right moment and leaping at chances. Thanks for the advice and perspective!