An Interview With Skyler

    I was asked if I'd be willing to do an interview with a friend of a friend's daughter who has a career project for school and wants to be a writer. I agreed, gave my email and received this sweet letter...
Hi My Name Is Skyler, I am doing a project in my 6th Grade ELA class where we are researching careers, and I might want to be an author, so I was wondering if you could answer some interview questions, P.S. if you could please reply before Feb. 7 2017. Thank You!!
This was my response.
Hello Skyler,
Thank you for reaching out to me. I’d be happy to help with your ELA project.

Interview Questions:

Do you believe that your job is needed in our society? Why or Why Not?

Writers are absolutely needed. Every form of media you watch or listen, whether it’s the news, a movie, a play, or a song,  is the product of writing. Writing has the distinct ability to change society, person by person, with the message conveyed by the author. A good writer can change the world.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of the job is rejection. It is altogether possible to pour your heart and hundreds of hours into a project to have it be rejected over and over, or even worse, that it would be completely ignored.  Because of that, writing can be incredibly frustrating and lonely.  There are so many books available, old and new,  that it’s easy for your voice to become lost in an endless sea of stories. It takes a lot of time and effort to refine your skill and make a name for yourself so you can stand out among all the other aspiring authors.

Are you satisfied with your work conditions? (Office Space, Provided Materials and Salary)? Please Explain:
Yes and no. Writing is cathartic, providing an opportunity to express deep emotions and personal beliefs in an incalculable amount of ways. I often find myself in a quiet place and dethatch from the world and those moments can be wonderful. However, I am not a successful writer yet, which means there is very little money paid to me and no materials provided. Anything I have, my computer, pens, paper, etc… I had to purchase myself. As of this moment, I have invested more time and money into writing than I have received back, which means I have to work full time at another job in addition to making a path for myself as a writer.

What college or university did you go to, and do you think you made the right choice?

I attended the University of North Texas for my Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing. I think the college was a good choice, but I feel as though I didn’t commit to my education as much as I could have. I could have spent more time on my writing projects, networking, and  building relationships. Wherever you decide to go is not as important as making the most out of where you end up.

If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be, and why?

I would change the pay off.  When you are a writer, there is no guarantee that the hard work you put into your work will ever pay off.  There is no promise. You just have to try, and fail, and try again… until hopefully something comes of it.

Please, don’t let any of the challenges of success scare you away from a desire to become an author. Keep writing. There is hope, and a lot of little victories. You will have people you never met connecting with you in ways you never imagined, all because they were touched by your words. The challenge and difficulty make the rewards all the sweeter. Whether you decide to write children’s books,  scripts for movies, songs for musicians, or articles for magazines, your desire on the subjects is what will ultimately push you forward. Writing is a profession of passion. If you care deeply and love what you write, you will never be able to stop.

            I hope this helps and helps to shape your expectations. It’s hard but it can be done. There are many successful authors and the world is waiting for you to be the next one.

All my best,

J.D. Clair