Grasping passion requires reach

By Bertel King, Jr.

Students do not need to be taught the value of finding a job.

College freshmen stress choosing a major, trying to balance what they want to do with what their parents want them to do -- with what will make them money. College seniors prowl career fairs looking for the job most likely to offer the most money upon graduation. Interns observe the importance of a steady career path.

When it comes time to draft the great to-do list of life, making money is not something most people forget to add.

Our world is what we make it
Far more people need to be reminded, or told for the first time, the importance of following their passion. I know some do not have this luxury. I will not tell anyone to ignore the realities of the world, but the reality is that this world is what we make it.

I want to live in a world driven more by passion than profit; if the only things holding me back are inhibitions and fears, I am in the place I need to be to change the world. Or at least my world, or the worlds of the people around me, because that is all this world is, billions of little worlds trying to make sense of the lives they share.

I am an independent author. I cannot say I know how to make a living from writing, all I know is that I have been putting stories to paper since I was a child. During my senior year of high school I completed my first full-length manuscript, and I self-published it my senior year of college as an ebook.

Whether or not I sell a lot of copies is not the point. Whether or not I ever make a living from it is not the point. What matters is that
I do not give up my passion for telling stories due to the pressures of living in a society driven by making profit.

Fulfillment feels good
Creating worlds makes me feel fulfilled, and what is the point of focusing on another career if the result is feeling hollow inside? It
feels good to call myself an independent author; what that entails, well, I will figure that out as I go.

As a high school student, you might not have any idea how you will get from where you are to where you want to be. I understand; I
still do not know how myself. But I have learned that the longer I aim toward something, the sooner it starts to become real.

I asked teachers, professors and even past editors at Student Paths for advice on how to become a novelist, but each author’s journey
is unique, and I will not let uncertainty prevent me from making the journey. Besides, I have a book for sale now, so that makes me
a novelist, right?

Reach for it
Ask yourself: What is it you want to do, and what would it take for you to feel like you have become the person you want to be? A stand-up comedian is not a comedian because he is hired by Comedy Central; he is a comedian because he tells jokes whenever given the chance. All he has to do is reach for the microphone to be a step closer to living his dream


About the Author

Bertel King, Jr.