Friday is for Favorites: Finished Finals Feelings
Well, the semester is completed, and it has been a whirlwind. I apologize for only having posted one post the last couple weeks; I’m sure at least one of you was chomping at the bit to procrastinate with me. Just kidding. Don’t procrastinate by reading this. Watch something like Black Mirror instead (if you’re looking for a mind-blowing fifty minutes, it’s an incredible way to go, but that is another post for another day).
As 2016 wraps up, I feel that I ought to pay homage once more to the remarkable literature of Stephen King. In On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, King pens one of my favorite paragraphs, writing that
“when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head” (150).
This is not to say I am an incredible writer; I have a lot to learn even if I hope to be a competent one. Both my old stories and my new ones show this, as do my essays and even this blog. But this sentence from Stephen King is encouraging, not because it says that talent assures success, or that being mediocre immediately bars you from something you love. Instead, what he is suggesting is that, if you find something you love, then you will do it (later in the paragraph, he discusses the sheer joy he derives from writing). Writing is something I adore, and something I hope to get better at. If that means writing on this computer until I get carpal tunnel or my eyes are permanently destroyed by the ungodly glow from the screen, so be it. I can always switch to pen and paper.
Earlier today, when I told a family friend I was an English major, she asked, “Oh! So you want to teach?” I replied in the negative to this, and her response was, “Well, then, what are you going to do with it?” She meant it lovingly, I know, but there is a myth that majoring in English is majoring in unemployment. I’ve wrestled with this for a while, because even though words are my first love, I sometimes wonder if I ought to attempt pursuing a “real” career. Sometimes, reading and writing seems just too fun to be work. Luckily, King puts this idea to bed, too, saying that
“if you feel you need permission to do all the reading and writing your little heart desires, however, consider it hereby granted by yours truly” (150).
Writing isn’t necessarily going to be my livelihood in that it will earn me money, but writing is one of the most profound ways I can enrich my life. Art imitates life, and you can’t have art without life, but sometimes (in my case, almost always) art functions to enhance life and open up new opportunities and exciting ways to view what we’ve been given.
What is the most excitement you’ve ever gotten from writing?