Some thoughts about growing up, being scared, and wishing you could make money writing

Full disclosure: this post’s less about the anime and more about the me. Well, okay, most of my posts end up being more about myself than anime, but this one’s especially going to be more journal-like. Somewhere along the way, this anime blog became more of a feelings blog, probably because I don’t have as much time to dissect anime as I used to…

I’m fizzling out a bit at the moment. I’ve been thinking a more about why it is I started this blog in the first place. I wrote a big thing on the topic a little while ago, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get out all my thoughts on the subject.

Yeah, I think fiction is important and brings people closer, which is what I wrote about before, but still, was that really what drove me to write in the first place? Yeah, I love doing this and I’m super thankful for the audience I have, but like, damn, I would love to get paid…

Money is hard. I think, realistically, if I relied on writing to make a living, I would end up hating writing just as much as I hate my regular job. (Okay, my regular job isn’t that bad, but I mean, I don’t love it.) It does suck that I can’t just do the things I love for a living. I want to be able to be afforded the ability to focus on the things I love while still being able to eat! Is that too much to ask???

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I have this really insidious thought that says nothing I do matters if it’s not making me money. I have to constantly remind myself that I should relax and do things I enjoy (like blogging!) whether it’s making me money or not. I know, deep down, that the things we do and our individual worth isn’t really measured by how much money we make, but when I see those student loan amounts, I can’t help but want to monetize every moment of my life. Which is…unrealistic, and would be pretty unhealthy.

Of course, I know there are ways to make money blogging. Affiliate links and Ko-Fis and all that. But I don’t really actually want to turn this into a second job type of deal. I feel like that would actually be counter-productive. Which I know sounds contradictory…because it is. My brain makes no sense!

At the end of the day I’m just thankful that anyone cares enough to read anything I write in any capacity. Yet that increasing, looming feeling of time wasted remains. It’s just so hard to enjoy things fully as an adult – I constantly feel like time is running out or that I’m supposed to be doing something else.

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Is this a little too dramatic? Maybe, but it’s how I feel, mannn.

I guess what I’m saying is, the future is scary and it’s really easy to feel like you need to be constantly trying to claw your way towards something better. I’m constantly seeing friends of mine make posts about their cool jobs and cool projects and internships, and I get bummed about it because all I’ve got going on is an entry level data job and an anime blog. Which is silly, because I shouldn’t be ungrateful.

It’s just rough, and it’s hard to shake those feelings of inadequacy. I still have a strong interest in becoming a ~real writer~. But then, I look at the professional world there, and it’s not an environment I think I would actually enjoy being a part of. Yet, I still at least want to break into this world, and figure out how to make it work in my own way. To do that, I need to put a lot of work in for free and learn a lot more skills. You know, on top of working forty hours a week. It’s really overwhelming. And even though I am working towards some clear goals and putting in the effort, I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough. Which gets in the way of me enjoying myself and relaxing.

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What’s my point here? Well, mostly I wanted to get some feelings out, but I didn’t just come here to whine. I know that, at the end of the day, a lot of people feel the same way that I do. I was hoping that I could use these feelings of mine to show anyone else that, yeah, these are normal feelings that a lot of people can relate to. Obviously, we’re not all in the EXACT same boat – some of you do make money writing, and some of you are happy with your jobs and really do just blog on the side for fun. Still, I can bet that most of us have struggled with these feelings that we’re not doing the right thing. We’ve all struggled with self-doubt and compared ourselves to others, whether it be career-wise or even just blog stat wise.

This is a reminder, to myself and all of y’all, that it’s important to just do something because it makes you happy. It takes a looooong time to become the person you want to be, so you can’t expect yourself to automatically jump up in the world. You also have to recognize that there are a lot of obstacles in the way – if you aspire to a career that’s even remotely considered to be creative, there are a million businesses trying to exploit you and make you work for free. It’s hard, and we need money to live, so you can’t beat yourself up for having to grind at another job in the meantime.

Yeah, there are people who have made it big as writers or artists or whatever, but there’s a whole side to their struggle that you’re not seeing. You see these people at their peak, and don’t see the years of failures and rejections that they’ve had to endure. And, sheesh, some people just straight up have it easier – maybe they had a connection to the top that rocketed them up, or maybe their parents were rich and paid their rent for them while they worked on their passion projects. Point is, don’t compare yourselves to others. Everyone’s situation is different. Take care of yourself, and let yourself have some fun!

These things take time! Keep your head up and move forward! Appreciate what you have! Etc, etc! These are the things I need to hear, so I want to make sure you all get to hear it, too. This post’s corny and it’s definitely a bit self-indulgent, but it’s important stuff. Becoming comfortable with the work I do and the things I’ve accomplished has been a huge struggle for me, but the more I express that stuff, the better I feel. So, if you’ve ever felt the same way, share it! Let me know what you do to cope, or, if you’re in nirvana and no longer have all this self-doubt, tell me what your secret is!

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21 thoughts on “Some thoughts about growing up, being scared, and wishing you could make money writing

  1. I know how it feels! A few previous jobs of mine were not satisfying enough for me – I felt undervalued in both, and felt like I was being taken advantage of, both in slightly different ways.
    It eventually led to me quitting and getting to where I am now, which is selling product on Amazon.com. Not enough to replace a full-time income yet, but with this and my current part-time job I am doing ok, and the amazon business can only keep growing from here as I add new products. The freedom is the best part of it all.

    I wouldn’t say “quit” outright, but you definitely could try to find something that you can work on on the side. Doesn’t have to be monetizing the blog, could be something like what I did. Take advantage of having an income at all while trying to build up a new source of income.

    Of course this is all my personal perspective because my last employer was particularly terrible to me personally (I essentially had no choice but to quit at the time) and I want nothing more than to forge my own path without relying on someone else like that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear your last job treated you so bad :/ it really is crazy what employers can get away with sometimes…there are totally some workplace bullies where I’m at, and they don’t give me a problem or specifically target me (knock on wood lol), but it’s certainly not…an environment that makes me comfortable, haha.

      That’s a good idea, though. I’ve been trying to brush up on some of the stuff I learned at school so I can do some freelance stuff and try to build that up. It’s actually really nice to be reminded that there are other possibilities that have some more freedom, so thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m still in college, but my general plan has always been to have two prospects in my life. First, a stable job, and second, my writing, whichvis funded by my stable job. If I work hard and smart enough, I would absolutely love to work as a writer, but right now, I’ll focus on what is in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s a good way of thinking about it. My boyfriend’s really big into art/ceramics, and he always says his main goal is to just have enough money so that he can follow his dreams & make his art on the side. So your view sounds a lot like his view, too. I’m trying to adapt to that outlook a little more, myself – y’all are smart for having an outlook like that, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It;s strange, but for me, this is all part of my livelihood right now. I wasn;t expecting to be made redundant from my day job, so I kinda got thrown into it all head first. Right now, my income comes from a mix of part time work, novel sales and a little bit of freelance writing when I can find the right opportunity. Having fun with it is so important though, as without that, it would all be so overwhelming. I try to make sure I keep that in mind all the time. The main thing is though that we’re all moving forward as best we can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, a mix of part time work and freelancing would be my ideal place, although I’m not sure how I’ll take all those steps just yet…but you’re right, just gotta see where the winds take me, I suppose, and keep moving forward! Thank you for sharing some advice and your experiences 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Basically what I feel every day. Wanting to do content for a living and not being able to, plus feeling the time is running out LOLOL

    In fact, at the moment I work 8 hours daily in my “real” job and the rest is invested in writing and streaming. It takes a lot of effort and I know it will take ages until I’m able to make any money out of it. But, the thing is… I love it! This way, I’m okay with it!

    I don’t really care what jobs my friends have. If they are better (or not) versus mine. The only person I compete with is myself. This brings me to my ultimate objective – have a job that I love and I feel I can work 12 hours a day without feeling tired of it. For that, I will have to embrace something that I love doing it ofc… Which means, Anime and Gaming xD That’s my goal and I’ll reach it one day or another. Until then I’ll be putting all the effort and overwork every day. The thing is, if you are having fun you can’t really call it work, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! You get me! haha, it’s like there are sooo many things I want to create but I just do not have the time.

      I’m glad that you can just embrace where you are and enjoy what you’re doing, though. I think that’s the place I need to get to – just relax and love what I work on regardless of where it goes or whether or not I can “””quit my day job””” yet, you know? I guess a lot of us are chasing what they love on the side, huh? I just need to learn to let myself love it instead of thinking of it as extra work!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, it was really encouraging, actually. Sometimes, I have to be reminded that your only yardstick is yourself and not to try and think too much about other people’s situations. Just gotta keep working and enjoy making progress and watching me grow 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Why are your existential crisis posts always so relatable. I’m going into my fourth year as an English major and have no idea what to do with my life post-graduation. It’s scary, aaahhh!
    Well, we’ll figure something out eventually! Optimism so isn’t my thing, but they say positive thinking is supposed to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, the senior year struggle. It sounds like you’ve been accomplishing a lot already, though, judging by your update posts about work and helping put stuff together for a book(!), so I believe in you!!!!!! (I’ll do the positive thinking for you, lmao)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This a thing I think about lot during work. Getting so hung up with all the responsibilities that comes with being an adult makes chasing your dream feel ever more distance from your grasp. My job in Food Processing is demotivating. Doesn’t help when I’m surrounded by grey walls everyday, and surrounded by people who just don’t care about their jobs, or life. It becomes too much to deal with at times that I want to quit, but know I can’t in my current situation.

    I’m also jealous of a few people I know whom actually got their comic book published, someone who used to be a ghost writer barely publishing their first book (he won’t tell me the name since he thinks I’ll tear it apart), and another one currently doing short films. For some of these people I helped them a bit by bouncing ideas with them, and they’re finally getting their hard work into fruition. Me, I’m falling behind them, but keep telling myself to complete things if I ever want anything to get done. I don’t ever want to become complacent since that’ll make it even harder to push myself to do things.

    On blogging I never considered using it to make money. It’s a good venting outlet. Only time I do is playing around with the possibility if I ever wrote a book that is worth paying for. Creating something from the ground up for me is more intimidating than rewarding since I might end up scrapping things regardless how long I worked on something. That’s why whenever I see a request for feedback on something random I tend to volunteer, and help a person out. It’s a not a frequent thing I do, but I enjoy doing it since I don’t try to sugarcoat things when providing feedback.

    Hopefully you’ll find your answer soon, and find that balance you’re looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That fits in exactly with how I feel at work. It’s tough to be motivated when you have to spend 40hrs a week doing stuff you don’t like…it’s hard to remember sometimes that where you’re at right now isn’t necessarily where you’ll be the rest of your life.

      And that’s how I feel about my friends’ stuff, too! I know, deep down, that so long as I’m working towards something and putting in effort I’ll be okay eventually, but…it’s really easy to feel like you’ve kind of stagnated, you know?? But, I mean, we’re both obviously not becoming complacent if we’re doing all this other stuff and putting effort into writing. But that’s easy to lose sight of, too T-T

      I gotta start thinking of it more as a venting outlet, tbh. Just the fact that I can write in my free time should be enough because I love it! I feel like I set myself up for disappointment if I try to compare myself to ~professional bloggers~ and ~professional writers~ or whatever. It is intimidating, and I’ve definitely scrapped a lot of things before I ever finished them because I didn’t think it was worth it or something along those lines, but meh. We out here, doing our thing, lol. Giving feedback is important, so that’s nice of you. I kinda relate to that, I always want to support random people’s stuff or help in some way if I can, just because I know how daunting a lotta these things are…

      Thank you for sharing your own feelings on all this (it’s suuuuper comforting to know other people have similar feelings), and I hope you find your balance, too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As for the writing aspect of this entry, I think its imperative to understand that drawing comparisons between your skill and that of others is a tricky subject. While its crucial that an author has a sizable lexicon and finesse with writing technique, framing, progression, etc., I personally feel that a huge draw of many authors is their individual styles. The stylistic differences from author to author is what (once again, in my opinion lol) makes it so hard to compare, say, a Stephen King book to an Isaac Asimov book. As obvious as this is going to sound, a big part in making the first big step in getting your work out there is figuring out what your style is, and being able to make the most out of it. Dont try to mimic Arthur Miller, dont try to beat Leo Tolstoy at his own game, figure out what Jenn likes writing, how Jenn likes writing, and what Jenn wants to change about her writing. After all, what would be the point in taking such a deep dive into a creative field if youre forcing yourself to be someone other than yourself while doing so? If youre interested (and have the free time lol), there are plenty of forums and discussion boards out on the interwebs where you can submit writing for like minded individuals, and have them peer-review so that you can see your own writing from someone elses perspective; id even go so far as to say that r/writingprompts usually has some good material to use as a test for on-the-fly thought composition. Regardless of whether youd like your major work to be reviews and blog posts like this, or longer, story-based works, these resources will be able to help you work on composing your thoughts into cohesive and ironclad blocks of information.

    On the topic of life-management, a good strategy that ive found a consistent amount of success with is trying to limit the amount of things we say we “need” for a happy life. Its definitely easier said than done, but I feel that trying to setup a strict and concrete outline for what we “need” to be happy ends up bringing us to the complete opposite end of the spectrum from our end goal. We end up constantly reminding ourselves that we arent in this utopia that weve envisioned for ourselves because we first need to accomplish x,y, and z, all before dinner. The pressure of “needing” to do all of these things starts to eat away at us whether we are aware of it or not, and eventually, we become so consumed with what we arent doing, that we begin to view everything with contempt, quite possibly including our original goal. Besides, from what ive seen in life, the treasure usually ends up being the journey, not the destination 🙂

    woooh boy thats a wall of text. Keep being you, live for what you love, blue skies ahead の3のb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. It does all have to come down to me and what I like. It’s kind of funny, because it’s like, silly to stress about my style before I’ve even written! It really is one of those things you have to find along the way. I’ve poked around writing subreddits (but never actually posted anything >.< just lurking), but I've never looked at the r/writingprompts one, actually. So that would be a good idea.

      Also, that's a really good way of looking at things that I never really considered. I spend sooo much time thinking about how I Need to get a super specific job in a specific field or Need to have a nice apartment and all that stuff that it does bog me down a lot. But it's not like there hasn't been wonderful unplanned things that have popped up along the way, so you're right – it is all about the journey.

      Thank you for all the encouragement & advice 🙂 it really does mean a lot to have people who read this stuff & respond with their own views so I appreciate it

      Like

  8. Please don’t let yourself be convinced that your words are just corny or self-indulgent! What you are conveying into this blog entry is stuff I certainly understand. Heck, I’ve been replaying a game called Persona 5, and what you mentioned about the line between practicality and passion reminds me so much of one Yusuke Kitagawa.

    I won’t give away spoilers in case you or anyone else hasn’t played it, but his Co-op story heavily involved finding a balance between money and the passion he was pursuing. Out of all the Co-ops in this game, his is definitely in my top 5. Going along with the other Co-ops in the game, there was a theme of sticking to your convictions to achieve a well-intentioned goal while also remembering to make compromise with others. His story was about learning to accept that as long as he never stops going with his noble goal to define his style of art, it’s absolutely okay to rely on help from others to get the means to get there.

    Reading your entry gave me flashbacks to that story from my 4th favorite game of all time. Even if you truly don’t care about making blogging a hobby in which you can make money, there’s still a lot you can gain from what you’ve currently been doing. In my opinion, you are in a very fortunate position. You have a full-time job and still have the freedom to pursue a hobby like blogging without the heavy burdens a full-time position in the craft would bring to a beginner.

    Now I’m not trying to paint professional writing as something that is too taxing for people to try. Rather, I wanted to say that for you, making blog entries on this site of yours gives you the freedom to refine your style without the job pressures like deadlines. You can go at all of this at your own pace with an audience who, as I’ve seen, is very supportive of you. Not only that, you have the complete freedom to choose whatever topic your article will be about. You even said yourself that you are still working to define who you are as a writer. You have the opportunity to give and receive constructive criticism, ALL at your own pace, whether its here or on a site like Reddit.

    Even if you intend to take this hobby a step further like with video-based entries, you can absolutely take that chance and learn about editing. Perhaps you’ve already thrown your head into ring of video-production. Not only that, but a site like Twitter or Reddit gives you the almost magical ability to touch base with other up and coming ani-tubers. My point here is that you aren’t alone and are open to accepting the help of others who can help you go in the right direction. And it’s their help combined with your current practice with that can lead you to eventually finding your font in writing.

    Even though we’ve never met or spoken to each other. Even though you’ll probably forget about me after reading this and perhaps replying back. And even though I’m just one, very, very small voice. I want you to know Jenn that I wish for you to find the most happiness at whatever you’re doing. I couldn’t help but make a response to this entry of yours. It takes a lot of courage to not only recognize anxieties ssuch as these but also put them out there. I’ve been keeping up with your blog for a while. And I will be honest when I say this. Seeing you so freely talk about shows which stole your heart (oh P5…). Reading all about how a specific part you latched onto got you to think so hard. And watching how you never let anything stop you in putting your thoughts out there. You are a true trickster (p5…) Jenn!

    You speak so much about how something inspired you. YOU inspired ME, Jenn! I have always wanted to write about my favorite shows. I still remembered how I first tried and epically failed to write about my love for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie. But your blogging has gotten me on the path to practicing my writing. Every day since August I have been making free entries about big and small topics. While I don’t feel ready to publish them yet like you have, I’m now making that step. And I wouldn’t be where I am today with all that practice if not for you. And whoever or whatever encouraged you to take the step to start blogging, I also give my applause to them.

    I initially wrote a first version of this comment yesterday, but it didn’t appear on here after I pressed “post comment”. I only hope that even a fraction of my sentiments from that draft of sorts will be conveyed onto this message. Whichever course of action you take, whichever guidance your heart resonates with most. Always do the absolute best you can Jenn! I will always support you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This honestly makes me so happy that I’m totally not going to be able to respond in a way that does it justice. It genuinely means so much just to have anyone read anything I like, let alone take the time to write encourage messages. As I’m sure you figured from this, I was getting really discouraged about writing (and a couple other aspects of my life, heh), so it’s especially nice to hear stuff like this now. Between this and a lot of other kind words from other folks, it’s really brought me out of my slump 🙂

      And it makes me SUPER HAPPY to hear that you’ve been writing!! Honestly, I understand that putting yourself out there can be scary, but the whole aniblogging community has been so supportive and nice that I think you would fit right in. Judging by the things you’ve written, even just here paralleling things to Persona 5, I know you’ve got great things to share. I’m really looking forward to seeing those things when they’re ready 😀

      I can’t even comprehend that I would inspire someone to write, too, but that makes me so happy, and at the end of the day, even if I don’t get to take the leap into ~professional~ writings anytime soon, I think just knowing that someone else got a push forward from stuff I wrote is enough. So thank you so much for all your support!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for you to start posting so I can support the shit out of you, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

      1. Man, that ChronoCompendium guy, whoever he or she is, said some very heartfelt things…Seriously, I almost teared up thinking about the impact you left on that guy.

        Jennifer, you have touched someone’s life in a way you probably never would have expected. You should feel incredibly proud of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

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