Graduated in '08 with a BA in English - Creative Writing and have been unemployed or under-employed until very recently, when I became a professional writer (wow, that still sounds really strange).
However, although I've been told I have a talent for writing, and the process of getting my degree helped my writing immensely, it was my non-academic experience (and, ironically, my failures specifically) that landed me this recent streak of opportunities. The degree was simply what got my foot in the door.
For anyone interested in becoming a writer professionally, it isn't nearly as awesome as it sounds when you're in high school and/or college. Yes, I'm most likely going to be in a perpetual state of poverty if I rely on this as a sole income for the rest of my life. Yes, I do miss meals occasionally. Yes, often times, I do a ton of work on things that will most likely never see the light of day, let alone earn me any money. Yes, writer's block is real and strikes at the worst times.
But, I also cannot deny that if you love the act of dragging a pen/pencil across paper, or clacking out the beauty and madness that floats around in your mind, that nothing could ever replace that feeling of when someone actually writes you a check for that little peek inside your head.
Then again, nothing quite feels like that feeling of eating nothing but Cup-o-Noodle for four days straight, or not eating anything for a whole day either.
To get back on track, if you want to go into Creative Writing--specifically in editorials or entertainment writing--then practice, practice, practice; get as much criticism as you can from as many different kinds of people as possible; and take some workshops that require you to share your writing in a group. I didn't think I was a terribly skilled writer until I took some of these classes and realized that, although I wasn't going to win a Pulitzer any time soon, nor was I ever the best writer in the class, I definitely wasn't as bad as my head kept trying to tell me I was for so many years.
If I could do it all over again, I honestly would have gone into Engineering, Business, and/or Finance/Economics. But I also would have continued writing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a Cup-o-Noodle calling my name from the pantry...
Whitey Bulger, Palette, Spreckers, Jerk, and Spike are still with us, but the others have gone to the big fish tank in the sky.
Check my album to see each of the fish we've had