A+ Advice Standalone: I’m Afraid Having a Day Job Makes Me a Creative Sellout

Hiya team,

I have a very queer problem in that I'm afraid having a day job makes me a creative sellout. My college major was creative writing, but my actual creative writing classes were not so useful for a couple of reasons. 1) I was seriously mentally ill and not getting proper treatment through most of college (though thankfully I'm on the right meds and in consistent therapy now) and 2) My professors were pretty snobby about the genres I wanted to write. I learned how to create a Very Serious Short Story in realistic adult fiction (read: work out my personal problems with self-inserts and quippy prose), but not how to write a compelling romance or build an interesting, believable fantasy world. Nothing I made in college felt like me, and when all my mental illness stuff crescendoed after graduation, I lost all interest in writing or anything else.

Now I'm 27. It feels implausible. I work for a tech company and I have a Master's degree in library and info science. More and...

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Himani is a dabbler of a writer. Her work includes reviews of media centering Asian stories, news and politics, advice and the occasional personal essay. A stickler for privacy, the best way to reach her is by email: himani[at]autostraddle[dot]com.

Himani has written 35 articles for us.