As his face changes, her fate unfolds. The Mirrors of Fate: Out of the Past (Book 1 to The Mirrors of Fate Trilogy). Click on the pic for e-outlets.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Fiction is for fools

If you're a writer, you probably said this at one point or another:
"Mom, I want to be a writer."

And to that your mother might've said one of two things.
A) "Writers don't make any money, sweetheart. You should be a lawyer or a doctor."


B) "You can be anything you want to be, and I support you 100%."

A few days ago I was speaking to someone taking English in university. She was a bit torn as to her course of study. According to her, she always wanted to do something in the field of writing. But I could see she was letting the voices of doubt and criticism circulating around the university and that circulate in the working world get to her. Those voices that say Humanities courses are pretty much useless when compared to the Social Sciences or otherwise. That you can't get anything worthwhile with a English degree so you're better off becoming a doctor or a lawyer. I could relate to her plight because, heck, doing English at university I heard the same ol' stuff as well.

I remember once even heading to my car and meeting a fellow who was, I don't quite remember his course, but let's just call him "Mr. Sciences Guy". Mr. Sciences Guy was pretty much the full embodiment of every bit of criticism you could think of when it came to studying English. His reading material stringently went no further than the Bible and the newspaper and "documents", because, and I quote, "you couldn't LEARN anything from fiction"--to which I thought he probably didn't know how much fun, educational, and involving it was to read classic literature that threw you back into those periods of which you were not a part of, instead of solely reading a history book full of dates and feeling removed. And he probably wasn't aware that English students, who have been taught to dissect the simple and the complicated in novels could draw out layer upon layer of great meaning from the Bible perhaps more so than some others, with all its parables, stories, and vast means of interpretation.

But to all of this, I say, if it's your personal ambition to write, you shouldn't let anything stop you. And to this
young lady I say, if it's your dream to get in the field of writing, whether it's to be a writer, a newspaper editor, a journalist, whatever it may be, aim for that and don't give up. There is the reality that writing as solely an author won't help you pay the bills upfront, and if it does, that sort of success may be a long time coming, which is why it's always a great idea to have another degree to fall back on  know what you can do with your English degree and learn how to utilize the kind of flexibility that Humanities-based courses give you in the working world. In case you're wondering what I'm referring to, just glance at that longwinded list.

  • Account Executive
  • Account Supervisor
  • Actor/actress
  • Administration
  • Administrative &amp Program Director
  • Administrative Assistant/Office Mgr.
  • Advertising
  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Advertising Sales Representative
  • Agent's Asst.
  • Announcer
  • Application Developer
  • Archivist
  • Area Coordinator
  • Assistant Account Executive
  • Assistant Editor/Production Editor
  • Associate Company Manager
  • Associate Director of Publicity
  • Associate Editor
  • Associate/Public Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Author
  • Bank Officer
  • Book Publisher
  • Bookstore manager
  • Broadcast Advertising Manager
  • Broadcasting
  • Business
  • Business Operations Senior Planner
  • Buyer
  • Career Counselor
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Child Care Specialist/Teacher
  • Columnist
  • Commodities Trader
  • Communication
  • Communication Skills Trainer
  • Communications Assistant
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Computer Manager/Consultant
  • Confidential Assistant Executive
  • Consultant
  • Coordinator
  • Copywriter
  • Corporate Communications
  • Correspondent
  • Counseling
  • Court Reporter
  • Creative Director
  • Creative Writing
  • Critic
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Design Specialist
  • Development Associate/Social Worker
  • Director of Public Relations
  • Drama
  • Editing
  • Editor (assignment, book, copy, dictionary...)
  • Editor/User Consultant
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Educational Researcher
  • Educator
  • Electronic Publishing Specialist
  • Entertainment Agent
  • Environmental Planner
  • Executive Assistant
  • Executive Search Consultant
  • Filmmaker
  • Financial Aid Counselor
  • Foreign Service
  • Fundraiser
  • Government Service
  • Head of Advertising/Asst. Vice President
  • History
  • Human Resources Assistant
  • Humorist
  • Information Officer
  • Insurance Agent
  • Interior Designer
  • Interpreter/Translator
  • Interviewer
  • Jeweler/Goldsmith
  • Journalist
  • Junior Accountant
  • Legal Assistant
  • Librarian
  • Loan Officer
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Trainee
  • Manager
  • Manuscript Reader
  • Market Editor
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Marketing Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Projects Coordinator
  • Marketing Researcher
  • Mass Media Assistant
  • Media specialist (buyer, planner, director ...)
  • Musician/Composer
  • Narrator
  • News Reporter
  • Newspaper/Magazine Editor
  • Operations Manager
  • Paralegal
  • Paralegal Assistant
  • Patient Financial Coordinator
  • Personnel Manager
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Press secretary
  • Production Assistant
  • Professor
  • Project Manager/City Planner
  • Proofreader
  • Psychology
  • Public Information Specialist
  • Public relations
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Service
  • Publications Manager
  • Publisher's Assistant
  • Publisher/Indexer
  • Publishing
  • Publishing Assistant
  • Quality Assurance Assistant Manager
  • Reading Consultant
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Regional Director
  • Regional Planner
  • Reporter
  • Research Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Journalist
  • Researcher: Opinion polls, Fact checker
  • Sales
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Senior Account Executive
  • Senior Editor
  • Senior Staff Writer
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Social Work
  • Social Worker
  • Special Agent
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Special Projects Director
  • Speech
  • Staff Assistant
  • Staff Photographer
  • State Representative
  • Stockbroker
  • Store Manager/Regional Manager
  • Student/Teacher
  • Teaching (all levels)
  • Telecommunications Systems Consultant
  • Television Producer/Performer
  • Text Specialist Engineer
  • Traffic Manager
  • Vice President of Financial Services
  • Writer: Technical, Speech, Freelance

Now that your eyes are bleeding from that list pilfered from University of North Carolina Career Opportunities list, no more excuses. Do what you will with your English degree, and don't let the voices of doubt tear you down.

Hey all you moms out there and writers out there. Anyone else experience the same kind of criticism going to school, or even now when you're in the working world? If you have any words of encouragement for this young lady, be sure to drop 'em in the comment box. ^_^


  1. Well since I believe the absolute opposite from the Science Guy, I'd have to say bunk to that. Of course, I read everything: newspapers, biography, cocktail napkins, so maybe I'm such an indiscriminate reader that I shouldn't say anything. However, that's not me. I have an opinion and my opinion is that fiction is a wealth of life lessons. It provokes emotions, but it also provokes thought. Now that cannot be a waste of time.

  2. Took the words right out of my mouth. Well said. :)