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Practicality of an Artist

Most writers enjoy their passion and even more writers are unable to financially support themselves. Most novelists didn’t start out as full-time. Artists often work a “real job” while pursuing their passion at night and on the weekends. Marie Lu, a New York Times Bestseller, was a video game designer. Jenna Moreci, an accomplished, self-published author, was a stockbroker. This is the harsh reality for most writers and one that we have to face.


I’m in high school and in the process of choosing my major so I will be able to choose a college. In the past, my choice in career paths have changed dramatically. A year ago, I wanted to be a teacher then I wanted to be a lawyer. Only a couple weeks ago, I was seriously considering to go into the publishing industry. Now, I want to go into nursing and I don’t know if I’ll stick with this plan. However, looking at it logically it seems like the best fit for me. How I figured it out, I was my usual nerd self and made a design matrix. 

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Design Matrix – in statistics, also known as regressor matrix, model matrix, or data matrix; a matrix of values of explanatory variables of a set of objects, often denoted by X

In regular English, it is an analysis of numbers to figure out what is the best option for the situation presented. The higher the score the better it is. That is the simplest explanation. The highlighted columns are the ones that are most crucial. As you can tell, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to things like this.

Thankfully, I’ve been taught mostly through the internet that passion is crucial when choosing a career path. While I completely agree, I want to have a family. If I were to have kids, I want to have enough money to not just support them but send them to a private school if I choose to. I’ve attended private schools for my elementary years and it helped me instill my religious faith which is something I want my kids to experience. Working in publishing and teaching won’t provide enough pay for that. While I would love to go into publishing, I will have to prioritize my children above myself.

I attended a private school for my elementary years and it helped instill my religious faith which is something I want my kids to experience. Working in publishing and teaching won’t provide enough pay for that. While I would love to go into publishing, I will prioritize my children above myself.

The time off will also allow me to have time for my children. Nursing is not my passion at all but it will allow me more time to write. It is practical as in the pay but also for the passion of having children and writing. 

While I would love to be a full-time writer and a stay-at-home mom, for the most part being a writer doesn’t pay a remotely stable income. I grew up with a single mom and quite honestly, I can’t stand the thought of being dependent on anyone financially.

Unfortunately, the saying of the starving artist is far from false. Obviously there are those that have made their passion their living but they are in the minority. Too often I hear other young writers simply say that after they finish high school, they’ll be a successful author without assessing the of the situation.

Still though, it all comes down to my priority and my child will always overtake anything else. Currently, I’m satisfied with the path I’ve chosen though I don’t know if I will stick with it since I’ve changed my mind so often. I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve found my passion early in my life. To know my true calling has allowed me to balance my future priorities before I get there. 

“Don’t think you can just write a book and watch the money roll in.  There are a lot of business and technical skills that go into being a successful writer.” -Jenna Moreci

As a young writer, I strongly encourage my peers to think practically about their future. While I too would love to be a New York Times Bestseller before I hit twenty years old but the likelihood of us being a bestseller let along creating a solid writing career early on in our lives is unlikely. The numbers don’t help us. Establishing a career later on in our lives isn’t just more likely but there’s nothing to be ashamed in taking our time. It is far wiser to accomplish our life purposes later on in life rather than rush to fail.

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