It took me a long time to get away from validating my life according to something that didn’t relate to my true hopes and goals. ~ Chris Guillebeau, “An Academic Confession”
That is something I could have written myself. A huge part of my desire to “get a master’s” was to validate myself by the ideals and goals of my parents. Neither of them graduated college but they fully expected me to go three times further than they ever did. I was supposed to be a high achiever, and up until they died (when I was in 20s) I was.
So when I got my life back on the rails after a 15+ year fugue state, I decided to get my master’s. That was what I was supposed to have done to begin with. So I did.
But here’s the thing: I love being an academic. I am one of the world’s foremost experts on a rare Victorian pornographic novel, I’m one of the few scholars studying Wonder Woman, I am a vocal proponent of change in the archival field. I love it ALL.
What getting my master’s taught me was that loving something does not translate into doing it as a job. I truly loath the “publish or perish” mentality of academia, the cut-throat politics, the constant begging for grants and funding, etc. Hate. While I would really enjoy being a professor, I have absolutely zero motivation to jump through those hoops.
Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to get my PhD. I really would. But I want to do it because it is something personally filling to me, not because it’s a check box on the track to tenure.
So, I write. I write M/M (and, eventually, M/F/M) romances that sell. I’m not getting rich off of my backlist, but I do plan to make good money at it eventually. I enjoy writing and I enjoy the job of writing, and my goal is to have my fun job support my fun academic interests, not the other way around.
Yeah, I like to do things differently!