TeeFury has an amazingly vibrant community of fans and we often like to reach out to them and see if they’d write something for us. The wonderful Corrigan Vaughan of Electric Feast wrote this wonderful piece for us about having passions and making a living (or lack thereof) from it. Check it out!
I’m 28 years old and I have dark rings under my eyes that make Emperor Palpatine look like an Oil of Olay model. Sleep is not super high up on my priorities list. I know, I know. It’s unhealthy. With any luck, this is a short-term problem. But I’m not complaining. It’s part of the grind.
I’m a writer. One of those “creative types.” It’s not a profession so much as it is an aspiration; a statement of intent. Most of the time I make zero money doing it. It is, as they say, a labor of love. And I do love it. Otherwise I’d be a marine biologist (JK. I got 20th percentile in GRE math. The sciences would never have me).
Most of the time, you’ll find me plugging away at articles that may or may not end up good enough to actually publish at the end of the day. You’ll find me editing out the 8,000 times I said “like” while recording my podcast. You’ll find me glued to my desk for 16 hours straight, eyes burning from staring at my computer screen, trying to figure out how to operate Adobe Premiere so I can post my amateurish interview with another creative type, all the while hoping I can help that person out from my low position on the totem pole. And after all of that, someone on reddit might dismiss all that work with some snide remark. I just have to hope to God it doesn’t become a meme.
And while I do all this, I’m working on a PhD. Not super easy work, despite how sexy the movies make it look. I don’t even have elbow patches on my blazers. It’s super disappointing.
But I’m not complaining. Seriously. I know it sounds like it. My priority is to make things. Even when it means averaging three hours of sleep a night and getting picked on by people who aren’t into my work. Even if it means I don’t actually make a dime off it. Even if it means I buy a new article of clothing like, once a year. For those of us blessed enough to not have to worry about the bottom half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and whose brain chemistry allows us to choose positivity, there’s really no excuse to not do the things we claim are priorities, and be happy doing them, even if the acclaim or “success” we receive in return is minimal.
I write about popular culture and fandom so that I have a totally reasonable excuse to marathon entire seasons of Supernatural in single weekends, or wake up Monday morning and re-watch the episode of Sherlock from the night before. I’ve figured out ways to blog and watch The Mindy Project or Brooklyn 9-9 simultaneously. Downton? That requires my full attention. Obviously. And when I’m not trying to squeeze a few minutes of TV into my week, I’m chasing other muses. I hugged Karl Urban once and another time Ethan Embry told me an embarrassing story from the set of That Thing You Do! On another occasion, I had a super weird conversation with Brendan Fraser in Belfast, and once Adam Beach gave me advice on what I should write about for an article on the Electric Feast. Really, what do I have to complain about?
We all hope that someday we can make a living off our creativity, but, realistically, most of us are gonna hafta do something else to pay the bills. Here’s my thing: Let’s just be cool with it. Enjoy the grind. And if you don’t, why not become a marine biologist?
Electric Fancave Podcast: http://soundcloud.com/electricfancave