I’ve been trying to do my own thing for almost three years. My path has been filled with missteps, restarts, and shifts in direction. I sometimes wonder if more knowledge could have prevented some of those things. Most of the time, I recognize that where I am now would not be possible without the route I took. It may have been the harder, more circuitous one, but it was the only one I had.
A few years ago, I would have loved to have found a job, but, if I had, I don’t know that I ever would have considered entrepreneurship. Write Right would not exist. Nobody would miss the site or the comic because they never would have come across it. I wouldn’t know the people I now know. It took not having a job to learn of freelancing and entrepreneurship. It didn’t take working for a magazine or an ad agency, both experiences I sometimes regret not having.
I don’t have them, but I have decided not to waste time on “what if.” I move forward as best I can, which has meant learning and continuing to learn on the best and most brutal of training grounds: real life. I have learned about the necessity of a “book,” a thing I dread. I have one, but I feel doubts whenever I consider or look at it. I then rely on a friend’s perspective who says it’s a good book. His opinion shores up my floundering confidence. I trust it because I know his work and his background in the ad agency world.
I’m now learning about other things, such as media pitches. I never learned about those in undergraduate or graduate school. I was on the academic and fine arts tracks. The professors didn’t think to offer different options to those who didn’t plan to teach. I could complain about that fact, but I don’t see the point. I loved and still love learning. A class on poetics makes me more excited than I probably should admit. I refuse to undercut that education. I only know that if I ever return to academia as an instructor, I would include real-world application in my classes. I would give my students the knowledge and skills and experiences they need for pursuing jobs outside the teaching track.
The point of all this? There is no right time to start something. A person is placed in certain circumstances. A person does the best he or she can. A person chooses to move forward and sets forth on a path from here to there.
Image: Duncan C. (CC BY NC 2.0)