Becoming a full-time writer had been a dream of mine since college. After graduating and going to grad school, I found myself both under and overqualified for jobs in the field I wanted, so I continued working retail at Strand Bookstore. I told myself it was for a bit, and then suddenly, two years passed. Then, at 25, I told myself I would find a writing job or go back to school for a Ph.D. in Folklore. I applied for a job at The Mary Sue—and I got it.
It has been just around five years since then, and the trajectory of my world has changed so much. None of that would have been possible without this job. Not only did it give me experience, freedom, and health care at the same time, but it also made me learn to be stronger. I had to learn to stand for what I believed in and be accountable when I was wrong. I had to learn to sit in the uncomfortable realities, often just as much as praise and respect. I wasn’t going to make everyone like me, and I wasn’t always going to explain a point ideally, but I had to keep trying.
So I’m grateful to the audience here for helping me grow and for helping me learn to be a bolder, more intelligent person who can finally spell Jaime Lannister’s first name correctly. I’ll still publish guest articles now and then for House of the Dragon, The Gilded Age, and The Mayfair Witches, but I’m moving on to follow other dreams. It is the first time I’m doing that whole “working on your art full-time” thing, and it is scary as hell, but I can do it because I spent the last five years with the best peer-review audience I could ask for. I made friends for life here, and I have turned into a person I am honestly proud of.
Thank you, and see you later.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]