I want to be published as a kind of validation for having reached a certain level, being good enough. Graduating, if you will.
I'm getting older, and I love to learn new things. I don't want to be one of those senior citizens who sees the world through a very narrow filter, unwilling to consider new things. I want to always be teachable. I want to be creative and make something that brings me (and hopefully others) pleasure.
I've worried that as I've been spending hours and hours on it (not just on the writing itself, but on reading blogs about writing by authors or aspiring authors, listening to podcasts about writing, reading articles about things writers should and shouldn't do, attending writing conferences, etc.), that it's taking over my life.
And for what?
I'm very much a person who needs to have something to show for the time I've spent working on it. Even if it's just for me.
So it was interesting today to read a blog post by a guest writer for Natalie Whipple. Adam Heine talks here about a writer's education. He hits the nail on the head. I especially love this part:
... But what kind of job demands years of uncompensated service before giving you even a chance at wages?Nice, Adam. Well said.
All of them, it turns out. It's called college.
College is 4+ years of work that pays nothing and (these days) doesn't even guarantee a job at the end. That's exactly what we're doing when we sit at our computer, typing a story nobody may ever buy.
It's better than college, because it's free. Better because it's easier to hold a job while writing than studying. Better because if we don't get a job with our first degree (i.e. novel), we can write another and learn more...
So long as you live life, working to get published is as valid an education as any other.
Keep writing. It's your education.