Starving Artist by Julius St. Clair
I remember the first time I was actually starving. It was at the Olive Garden. You know the place…unlimited soup and salad. Breadsticks. Delicious plates that consist of either chicken parmigiana, or meatballs over penne pasta.
The problem is, I wasn’t dining there.
I was the waiter.
And nearly every day I was bombarded with the same series of agonizing questions from my esteemed guests: “This isn’t what you want to do all your life, is it?” “When are you going back to school?” or my personal favorite, “Do you love your job?”
Who was to know that I was a 22-year-old, fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree in English, and the only job I could find was as a waiter at my local restaurant. I had only been there a year and a half by this time, but I was starting to feel the hunger pains, watching the economy get worse, and my chances at a more fulfilling life getting bleaker by the day. You see, all I could think about, all that haunted my days and kept me tossing around at night was the fact that I was so…HUNGRY…
Not to say the aromas of the almighty dollar didn’t tantalize me from time to time, but for the most part, I just wanted to write. That is what drove me, and kept me alive. Often I would imagine myself sitting at a wooden desk, scratching away at a red and black notebook I acquired from Staples as the world crumbled around me in apocalyptic fashion. As my doom drew near, I would scribble even faster and swing my hand across the page with the intensity of a painter’s brush because I needed to hurry. Before my life ended, I needed to complete the story!
To put it simply, I love writing. For me, it’s more of a therapy for my soul than a declaration to the world. First and foremost I write for myself, about what I’m passionate about and about what entertains me, and then afterwards, I get so excited that I try to share my joy with others like an overzealous Christian with tracts in hand. If I had my way, I would sit down at a table and write forever…
But unfortunately, life would not have it so.
See, life wants me to be an adult…with bills, and responsibilities.
So writing, my craft, my first love, has become increasingly difficult to spend time with over the years…
Maybe it started when I finally got a teaching position that demanded my full attention. Maybe my storytelling slacked when grading papers and filling out behavior intervention reports took its place. Perhaps it was when my occupation became so tiring and stressful that I would rather come home and turn into a zombie in front of a television screen, than go back to the characters I created. Those old friends who still begged me, and pleaded me to finish their tale.
Years went by, and I felt that familiar rumble once again.
Somehow, deep down, I was getting HUNGRIER.
And so one day, I decided…that I was done with fasting altogether.
So guess what?
Now, I am a full-time author…
I mean, who gives up a career and a steady paycheck while having a family to feed in this economy? Seriously, you would have to be clinically insane…
Or at least very hungry…
Sure, I still get looks of disbelief or borderline contempt from those who still continue the daily grind. Of course, my very supportive wife worries that if this career as a novelist doesn’t work out, I will have to revert back to the miserable zombie teacher who once roamed her halls. Naturally, most people I talk to do not sympathize with my attempt to secure my dream job and believe I should beg for my old teaching position. 9 out of 10 people probably think I’m an idiot…
And maybe I am.
But you know what?
I will tell you one thing…
I am quite full.
I would like to thank Julius St. Clair for stopping by the blog today. If you would like to know more about Julius or his works, here are some links to check out: