Chase What You Love
A few years ago, I did an alumni panel for incoming communications students at my dear old alma mater. The soon-to-be students and their parents asked us all sorts of questions about our backgrounds, degrees, career experiences after graduation, etc.
Since the panel was focused on the College of Communication, I mostly talked about my job and real-world experiences in Public Relations. But one father stopped me on my way out.
Worried Father: “You mentioned you double-majored in history. Can I ask why? My daughter wants to do the same thing, and I’m just not sure there’s any application for it. Do you use your history degree day-to-day?”
Me: “Not necessarily every day as part of my career. I pursued history as a passion – it was fun and kept me sane between other, more boring classes.”
*Pause, in which I suddenly feel the urge to say more.*
“Actually, I have found it very useful in my own writing. I’m working on several fantasy novels, and history provides great context for world-building and character development. I continue to draw inspiration from some of my old classes, so yes, in that sense, my degree is definitely applicable for my future publishing career.”
Worried Father: *With a look of dawning horror* Oh, this was SO not the right girl to ask about this topic. Why, oh, why didn’t I stop someone else?
Daughter: “See, Dad!” *hits Dad on arm and turns to me* “That’s exactly what I want to do!”
Me: *Wicked grin at finding a fellow writer* “I would highly recommend sticking with your plan. I loved history and, honestly, you’ll get a lot of use out of it in your own writing. By the way, here’s the info for the amazing studio where my crit group meets. We always welcome new writers!”
Never be afraid to pursue something you love simply because you don’t know if it’ll pay off. You owe it to yourself to try, and you’ll probably have tons of fun along the way!