I was flattered last Sunday when I was asked to speak at a career night organized by the youth leaders of my church. But I have no idea what to tell these kids?
The young men and women were polled to discover the top ten careers they were interested in and “Writer” was one of the results. I was the closest thing the planners could find. The invitation made me happy because it’s taken a long time to get from the point where I perceived myself as a writer to the point where others also perceive me as a writer.
Nevertheless, I am torn over what to say. Part of me wants to give a pep talk, tell the kids to follow their dreams, change the world, be artists, and ignore the sage advice of their parents. The other part of me wants to tell them to expect a long, hard, lonely road, full of discouraging setbacks. I’d like to encourage them to carefully evaluate their own talent and other career options before committing to the life of the writer–is that wrong? The last thing I want to be said of me is that I discourage the dreams of others.
I’m soliciting advice on how to approach this. By Tuesday night I need to know what to say. So, everyone please help me out. If you chose a risky career do you wish you’d been better informed? If you didn’t choose a risky career do you wish you’d been encouraged to take more chances?
In the end, would any career advice have made any difference?