It’s probably not entirely accurate to suggest that this is my first foray into writing. In fact, it might even be a bit misleading. Not intentionally, of course; it’s just that I find it difficult to count some of the other stuff as ‘writing’. . . .
When I graduated from college, I had a fine degree from a rather okay liberal arts school – and not a single useful skill. And, for a variety of reasons, I also had not a single clue what I might do with my life. I had been accepted on MA programmes – one option was to study history; the other to study anthropology. Either would have been fulfilling, I’m sure. But I was 21 and completely lost in the world.
So. I moved home.
And, I got a job.
I had not one single clue what marketing was. I mean not one single clue. What I knew what that this was a real job. The pay was shit – I mean shockingly shit – but it was a grown up job that my parents would (sort of) approve of.
And, it involved writing. That was good, right? I was good at writing. . . .
(What I was not good at, it turns out, was marketing. Which, actually, is highly amusing since that’s more or less what I spent the next 15-ish years doing. But that’s another story for another day.)
So, that’s what I did. My first job. Writer/Marketeer. Neither, really. Just another cog in the wheel.
I hated it. I mean HATED IT. I thought the problem was the company. (It was). I thought the problem was the job. (It was). In fact, though, the biggest problem was me. But there was a long road to travel before I’d figure that one out.
I left that job. I went to one that was even worse – by far. But that worse job meant I was able to move to London a couple of years later. And that job was an actual ‘real’ job, and I loved it, at first. But then somebody important figured out that all the money that was being spent on us cogs in that particular wheel could go somewhere else – so we all had to go somewhere else.
So, there I was. Redundant, as the British so tactfully call it (so much nicer than the American ‘laid off’, don’t you think?), in the city that was now my lifeblood. I couldn’t leave; that would kill me.
The solution: MA Journalism. I would finally become a proper writer!