“Don’t quit your day job.”
I was ten years old when I first heard it. Now, I don’t remember who said it. It wasn’t some scarring life experience for me, thank goodness. All I know is that they were joking. Messing with a ten year old who knew how to dream.
To be honest, I had to go home and google the phrase to figure out what they meant. But when I did, please believe me when I say that I was less than impressed.
Hearing someone, no matter who it is, tell you not to quit your day job, is always discouraging. Whether its meant in jest or as a very serious comment, it is ALWAYS taken seriously.
When someone says the words “Don’t quit your day job”, they are essentially telling you that if you go off to chase your dream, whether it is music or art of in my case, writing, that you shouldn’t quit your day job, because you might not make it.
Now that I actually have supportive friends, who have the nerve to tell me what they legitimately think of my writing, they have the gall to imagine me as a published writer. They talk about me being sixteen and bestselling as if it could one day be a reality. The words fly off their tongues and they think nothing of it. They could just as easily imagine me not being published as they could imagine me not breathing. It’s because they’ve seen me write, they’ve heard me talk about the novel(s), and they’ve helped me figure out how a person would respond to a certain situation.
And then there are the ignorant ones. No offense. But you should change your ways.
I’m not trying to make fun of you. I’m just trying to keep your from crushing the dream of an artist who doesn’t know any better. If J.K. Rowling had listened to the people who told her that her writing wasn’t worth it, had accepted the 39 rejection letters, an entire generation would lose their definition.
Can we please just erase this phrase from the vocabulary of the planet?
If you are any kind of artist: Filmmaker, singer, musician, photographer, painter, sculptor, anything. Don’t listen to them, because your art and your dreams are worth it.
And if you are a writer. If you get nothing else out of this post, get this: You have a story inside you. You have several. And you are one of the chosen few who can release those stories. Quit your day job.