Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow

Now Brewing: Donut House Collection: Cinnamon Roll. Yeah, it is as good as it sounds. I take any coffee I can get these days but this was a special treat. My family’s coffee maker broke so we got to try some flavors at home. One of my favorites was a blend like this so I quickly found the K-Cup equivalent. Delicious.

One of my favorite pastimes is reading author interviews on their websites or biography blurbs in the back covers of their novels. It is a bit embarrassing to admit but I often find myself practicing what I would say if I was ever granted the opportunity to give an interview on my writing.

I have found that you can learn so much about an author and the way they write by reading or hearing their interviews. My favorite author, whom I have mentioned so often on this blog, Jodi Picoult has four separate interview pages logged on her website. I could spend hours reading and rereading her answers. There is something about the humility of her success that reflects in her answers and what really comes through to me is how much of her success depends on the fact that writing is first and foremost her passion—not finding fame or success—just the writing, is what makes her so admirable to me.

Today at my internship I got a few minutes to read some of her interview with The Booktopia Book Guru from May 2012. I am not sure how this interview slipped past me without being read before, as I frequent her website searching for information on her upcoming novels each year, but I am so glad I found it when I did.

One of the interview questions was:

What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

This is one of those questions that really makes you think about what you’d say in response. If I was asked this in an interview I am not even sure what I would come up with.

Sure, as I have mentioned, much has changed in the last four years. I continued to ponder what I could answer to this while I read her response.

Picoult answered with ease that what she believed to be true at eighteen was that,

 “what matters the most for your future is finding a career that will help you support your family.”

This rings particularly true, as what I have been told constantly that writing cannot financially support me or a family. That I need a day job. I realize I still hold this belief to be true.

Picoult went on to say,

“I know now that you should follow what you love. The money somehow will come, if you have that passion for your work.”

This I have heard before. It is part of the reason that I chose to go into journalism and eventually into public relations. I realize that I hold both of her statements to be true, albeit contradictory.

I have been told that writing alone will not get me far so I chose a career path that was driven by writing so that I would be able to do what I love and still find success.

Realizing last week that I still have a desire and passion for creative writing has inspired me to keep dreaming for the day that my passion will lead to the money.

I have been working on my new novel daily. Although I am still spending a majority of my time devoted to writing on storyboarding and pouring over baby name books in search of the perfect names for my characters, what I do know is that the novel will be a reprise of a short story that I started while in high school. The basic synopsis:

All of her life Marley O’Donnell has sat in bleachers cheering as her younger sister Miley became one of the top gymnasts in the nation. Although she loves her sister, Marley cannot help the jealousy that overpowers her about the attention that her sister commands. When tragedy strikes the O’Donnell’s, Marley is faced with a choice that questions everything she knows about loyalty, faith and the value of family.

Although I have written, and rewritten, my outline multiple times in the last few weeks I am very optimistic about this story. I know from experience that this is just the beginning—I have such a far road yet to travel—but I am excited.

And for now that is enough passion to drive me.

Please let me know your thoughts on this new story idea. What does it bring to mind? Are there any questions you have from reading the synopsis that you would want answered in the novel? Any guesses as to what choice you think Marley will have to make?

I would love to hear feedback as I work!

Until Then,

Kathryn E. Weast

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