First of all, buddy, it is ok to panic!
It is a bit jump from education to (not in a patronising way) the REAL World.
The great news is that you know what you want to do for a living and that’s the first step.
Now you need to plan how you get there.
You want to find a job in writing, but what is the goal?
Novelist, editor, copy writer…dare I say, comic writer?
Whatever career you want, the harsh truth is that unless you are incredibly lucky.
Or you know someone inside a company that can help you get your foot in the door or spot a job opening and WOW at the interview, more so than others who may have experience, You are going to have to work REALLY hard to get where you want to go.
You are most likely gonna have to take a side job, to fund your passion.
But you know what?
THAT’S NOT A BAD THING!
It is a great way of getting experience in the big wide world and dealing with people on a day to day basis, from all walks of life…as a writer, that’s GOLD!
You are gonna meet so many people, hear stories, be inspired by the lives of others!
Some are gonna be nice, indifferent and some are gonna be downright buttholes….but, its great!
I’m paraphrasing (I could google it, but I’m being lazy), but there is that line in To Kill a Mocking Bird that goes something like:
"you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them"
So, if you do have to take that side job, just work hard and pretend that you are doing research!
The other good thing is that you are gonna make new friends…
But, you are also, afraid that you are gonna get stuck in a rut!
I get that.
Again, not trying to sound patronising…you have youth on your side.
Leaving uni, I’m gonna assume that you are 20-21ish?
Dude, I’m 35, I didn’t even know I could write until I was around 27….to be honest I am still not sure I can!
So, I’ve been writing my own comics for nearly 8 years and I’m not exactly what you would call “successful” I write and make comics, because I love it.
For me it is a hobby….some people, play golf, some people send thousands of pounds on season ticket to watch their favourite team…me, I spend “disposable” income on paying artists collaborators to make comics.
If I never “break in” I’m cool with that, I’m just making the stories I would wanna read myself…but if your goal is to be a comic writer, the biggest piece of advice I can give you that I have heard through the years…is just make comics…hone your craft…and make a body of work.
THEN BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CHEERLEADER and get them out into the world.
If you are good at it, the industry will hopefully find you…
To do this, you are gonna have to fund it and that comes back to the job again. Sorry….
But, it is gonna allow you to make comics!
That’s not a bad thing!!!
The other thing you are gonna have to do is, sacrifice….and I am not talking about going to the nearest comic con and rounding them up (there is a plethora of them there…not knocking geeks…I am one, myself…was nearly 19 before I touched my first boob…moobs, don’t count either) for some kind of crazy ancient Mayan ritual.
I mean, you are going to have to sacrifice time to go after your passion on the side…I did.
Sorry to turn this one-sided conversation on to me, but if I can give you an example of what I have had to do, at least you know I am not just trying to give you advice for advices sake like I have all the answers!
How I wrote me first comic was, I would get up and leave for work really REALLY early. Then on route I would stop of at Westfield in Stratford…go get a black coffee from Starbucks…that would be closely followed by a trip to the toilet…then I would go sit in the EMPTY food court on the top floor for 1-2 hours before work and write!
No distractions, just me, my pad and my ipod (as big as iron fist’s)
So, don’t waste time, you need to write when and where you can.
It’s a hard discipline to learn…but once you have it…you are on the right route.
Athletes are exactly the same….which as you have guessed, I am one…not really!
But they sacrifice, time with their friends, families, even give up eating fatty food that we all take for granted!
Chicken McNuggets and endorsements aside, Usain Bolt, yes has natural talent, but has trained and sacrificed thousands and thousands of hours to compete for a competition that lasts for 9.58 seconds!
My last piece of advice is on rejection.
Dude, you are gonna get rejected sooooooooooo many times.
What you need to remember is:
IT IS BUSINESS, IT IS NOT PERSONAL!
If you get a no, do not let it break your spirit.
It does not mean that you are not a great writer and your story/comic/art/whatever was bad, it just means that what you pitched, wasn’t right for them…nothing more.
It only takes one person to say “yes!” and you are not gonna get that yes if you just give up at the first hurdle.
When all is said and done Aaron, you can do this, buddy!
I have no doubt about that…you just gotta work hard….and if you do “make it” live it for the rest of us!
NOW GO AND DO IT!
now, if you’ll excuse me…i got some comics of my own to write!