Sometimes Writing Pays (So Stop Hating on the English Majors)

Sometimes I have so many projects going on that I just stare at my computer and think about what I opened it to write. But working freelance, full-time and creatively works for me, because it gives me the financial backing to fulfill my dream.

Photo Cred: Lauren Pezzullo

When I went to UT Austin to pursue an English degree, I had a lot of self-righteous people tell me I wouldn’t go anywhere with that. I always told them, this is what I love. This is what I’ve always loved. Sure, I’ve thought about being a designer, an architect, a lawyer and a teacher. But nothing rang true more than putting words on paper.

So I found a career path in proofreading. I struggled with the fact that it’s not a corporate-climbing position, but you know what? I don’t need that. I make a living, and I work hard every day. At night, I take freelance gigs for the extra money, and mostly because I’m being paid to write.

It’s a great feeling when people want to purchase your talent. I will never stop smiling at an “I loved it!” email on the first draft. And sometimes it’s hard to work an eight- to ten- hour day and add a few more on the end. But it’s always worth it.

The cool thing is, my creative life is coming together, too. I feel like I’ve earned my wings after getting into a week-long residency, garnering agent attention, pitching at conferences and putting my words out into the world. It doesn’t matter when I get an agent or when I get published. The point is — I’m living the dream.

The dream they said would never pay.


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