To stoke that particular flame within the very soul requires just a spark of passion.
Long ago, I legitimately had a passion for one particular thing on my mind: writing.
When it came time to lock in an intended major at my university, I chose journalism as my first choice.
A lot of people scoffed and mocked me for my choice in major back when I started college. People questioned my decision. Rightfully so, journalism wasn’t a sexy major choice. By all means, the field paid poorly and a lot of people as a whole did not respect journalists and their profession.
Regardless of what others said, I stuck to my guns. I set my major as journalism and stayed with it from start to finish in college. By all means, I was a journalism nut in all kinds of ways.
I ate, slept and breathed in the essence of journalism. I was obsessed over things like Associated Press (AP) writing style, how words looked on a newspaper page and other random things like how to write decent headlines.
I learned how to do things like how to edit other people’s writing like a madman, I became obsessed with “space” between paragraphs and other random things one could find in print.
Go down the list, and I dabbled in a bit of everything when it came to what you could learn in a college newspaper. I even was a news editor during the summer at one point.
However, even after all of that, I found myself painfully ill-prepared for the post-graduation stuff. No matter how much genuine passion I had for the journalism field, it was not like the field had the same kind of love and respect for me as a potential candidate.
I wasn’t trying to report big news or anything like that. I just wanted a start. I wanted a beginning. At the very least, I knew I had a lot to do before I could transition into a proper journalism job after college.
It was never about the money. No one goes into journalism thinking about their bank accounts. They do it for the sake of the craft. I was willing to move to some random place I had never been to before, even if I ended up working at some dinky paper.
Not for the byline. Not for getting my name out there in the journalism world.
I wanted the experience. I wanted to get my feet wet. I was completely willing to start at the bottom and grind my way toward something respectable on the metaphorical ladder. It was the only thing I wanted for myself. It was the only desire I had to keep me motivated for something “professional” that I could be proud of as an individual.
Had things played out the way I wanted them to, I would have been a full-fledged journalist by now. I would be living in some big city or something.
Alas, the bad stuff happened instead. It happened in droves.
I dealt with long-term unemployment. It was humiliating and crippling. I thought I was such a loser in so many ways.
Life had knocked me down, and it felt like it kept me suppressed for far too long before I could find some sort of strength to wiggle my way out of my own personal problems and insecurities.