Writing makes you rich in soul, not in pocket

With life comes change.I am a print journalism major, but I haven’t picked up a pen or typed a word in close to a year and a half. I used to laugh with people when they complained about writer’s block. I knew full well that I’d never run out of ideas. Calvin Klein ads, artificial insemination, my car ? ideas flowed from me like a freshly struck gusher of oil.

Then the black gold stopped coming. I couldn’t get passionate about anything, and I thought seriously about changing majors to something a little more lucrative. Lord knows a journalism major’s salary is pitiful enough as it is without student loans bearing down on you.

I thought I would live in my fraternity house forever. I thought I would miss my home in San Jose too much. I thought about the future ? and this is where it got me! The future led me straight to writer’s block. I always imagined the future would be this glorious time when I’d be able to sit down in my comfortable office, think about something witty akin to Dave Barry, crunch out 700 words, e-mail it to my syndicate and watch the money roll in. I’d be the next P.J. O’Rourke, without the drugs.

My wife and 1.5 children would greet me as I stepped out of my mid-life-crisis-mobile, and I’d walk up to my picket fence, grab a freshly rolled newspaper and a pipe and fulfill the American dream.

How I wish.

My profession could cease to exist in 20 years, as more and more publications find their homes on the Internet, and that scares me. For the first time in my life, I am coming to grips with the fact that my life will stop being comfortable once I take my diploma in hand and get a job. My parents won’t be there anymore as my safety net.

Fortunately, I have one more year to think about the inevitable nightmare that is real life. In the here and now, I have friends and family who I care for, and I’ve learned to prioritize those elements in my life ? in comparison to other things that simply are not important to me anymore.

Furthermore, I’ve come to a greater appreciation for the town of my birth, San Jose. I used to love it to death; I could not get enough of the 11th largest city in the nation. Last semester, I realized that my place was Los Angeles. Since then, however, I’ve come to have a respect for San Jose that I didn’t have two years ago.

Life is starting to turn around for me. I’m living in an apartment for the first time, and I like it. I’m also starting to specialize in my major, and I’ve added a minor in American literature. I may teach. What is it with me and low-paying jobs?

Since I’ve decided to pretty much write for the rest of my life, I figured I should actually start writing. Dust off the ol’ pen, sit down and scratch a few words on the paper. Writing again. It feels really, really good for a change.