While I was growing up, my father said that it wouldn’t be smart for me to become a writer.

In middle school, I used to pride myself in the idea that I would, one day, find myself to be a famous author. I’d hand my father a short story as he reclined on the couch, my hands restless and my feet jittery. When he looked up, my stomach flipped; I respected my father’s opinion greatly, and I was nervous to hear what he had to say. He’d clear his throat, force a smile, and say something along the lines of, “You know, you’re a great writer. But you won’t be able to make it in the real world. Have you considered going into business?”

I like to think that, on the inside, my father rooted for me, but society told him not to. It isn’t smart to let your daughter enter a career with no money involved, society said. Passion will never get her anywhere. 

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Once my father figured out that I was serious about my writing, though, he took me to writing seminars and conventions; he helped me build my juvenile plots about mutants and mad scientists; he encouraged me to listen to writers’ advice and to self-publish at an early age. He never told me that I would make it, though. Never explicitly. But I would see it in his eyes when he looked at me across a seminar table.

So is it worth it? To follow your dreams? To block out any voice of doubt around you? To keep going? The short answer, dear reader, is yes.

I have a friend who gave up her love of history in order to make money in the medical field. I internalized her loss for her; to lose a passion is to lose a part of your soul. Never let go of it. Cling on to it like it’s your lifeline. I assure you that, if you are talented in the field you are passionate about, you will find a way to make a living out of it. That is a promise, and it is a promise I’ve offered myself as well.

I hope you all have an amazing day, and always keep writing!