Excuses and Expanding Education

I never really explained to you, the reader, why I took on this internship in the first place. I attended a university in Illinois where I wanted to pursue a degree in publishing–mostly because it seemed the most stable financial aspect of my many passions, all of which include no stable income if I chose to tackle on with a full frontal attack. I’ve actually tried, and despite hearing the “do or do not, there is no try” mantra, I have failed in figuring out a way to really push myself forward. It may have been fear, it may have been lack of resources, it also may have been the fact that I was attending college while working a retail job I didn’t get much self-satisfaction from and then moving away from home and making a weird transition to¬†really¬†being on my own–only to then extend myself even further by taking a sturdy foot forward and biting into the Big Apple.

I can think of a million excuses as to why my novels aren’t done or why my YouTube channel only has about 29 subscribers (surprisingly not from too many actual friends) or why my only real income now is from companies and authors willing to send me a free book to review on my own time. (I guess that’s where my money would go anyway, but still.) To be honest, it is hard for a creative person to push themselves. You want to be great, you want to make something that will wow people and will be successful and give you a living. But the things with the arts is that, it’s hard. It’s hard to be creative all the time and you don’t want it to be just a hobby because that “hobby” is your life and you want it to be your life.

I love books. I love writing them, reading them, smelling them, holding them, collecting them, and rereading them into a coma of deep thought.

I took on the publishing major at college thinking I would learn how to do the things that I’m just dipping my toes into here at 16Things–sharing my love of books with the world, giving readers a world of creativity through the use of language, but I didn’t learn those things at college. I felt unqualified, I felt like I wouldn’t get that chance to share those silly words on pages that change lives, that I would have an even harder time trying to sell my books because I wasn’t fully aware of the process.

Being creative is mentally draining sometimes, as an artist you feel like whatever you’re working on has to be perfect, you fear sharing your work because of judgment because your work is a piece of yourself that is difficult to share at times. But you are your worst critic, just keep working to expand your horizons like I did by trying to grasp chances and push your life forward.

Rachel is a 23 year old recent graduate of the publishing studies major at Illinois State University. She has a deep connection to literature and the arts and loves volunteering her time to great causes and reaching out to her community. In 2010 she was accepted into a 2-week writing program at Juilliard School which helped her fall in love with the city of New York and pursue the publishing degree she currently has. She has been published in 7th grade at StarWallPaper, a poetry journal for young poets, Lit Fest Press/Festival Writer, Figment.com, and writes published book reviews for Teen Ink Magazine located in Boston. Outside of writing, you can find her strumming her guitar, singing, acting in plays, dancing on dance companies, and reading profusely.

Posted in Insider Guide To Internships, Rachel's Daily Doses of Knowledge

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