Students at the Boston Teen Author Festival

How Can I Make a Career Out of This?

I didn’t think anyone would want to go. But when I looked up from packing my backpack after class, five girls were standing in front of me.

“All of you want to go to Boston Teen Author Festival?” I double-checked. I’m the peer mentor for. Hero’s Journey, a First-Year Seminar course, and since some of the students had already expressed an interest in creative writing, I thought I’d invite them to go with me to the festival.

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There were nods and excited smiles in response. I wrote down everyone’s names, and told them I’d get in touch with details about the trip. I went through the rest of the day weirdly excited to write that email. I was looking forward to planning an event with young, motivated writers. I enjoyed just looking up the buses so much that I knew I had to stop and zoom in on this moment – What did it mean?

Planning the trip to Boston Teen Author festival made me realize that I knew what I wanted to be doing next year — writing, and supporting young writers.

I’m graduating a year early. In May, I’ll be out in the real world, perhaps a little undercooked. All I knew was that I wanted to be in school next year. I had been tossing around ideas about Linguistics and Education programs, but I hadn’t done the research or found programs that really excited me. I’m minoring in Creative Writing, but I had decided not to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts. It just didn’t seem practical.

Almost like foreshadowing, a free copy of the Writer’s Chronicle started to change my mind. There were plenty of ads for MFA programs, but one caught my eye. Ohio State University said that masters students could teach creative writing workshops at the same time.

I know I want to teach Creative Writing eventually. I never thought that I’d be able to do it so soon. Planning the trip to Boston Teen Author Festival made me realize that I knew what I wanted to be doing next year — writing, and supporting young writers.

Boston Teen Author Festival

Panelists at the Boston Teen Author Festival.


With that realization, everything fell into place. I learned that quite a few MFA Creative Writing programs were fully funded, so I wouldn’t have to go into debt to get my degree. I could teach at the same time. It was the perfect future for me, and I almost missed it.

Stop. Take a moment. Breathe. Think of a time when you did something that made you happy. Zoom in. Pay attention.

Now think, “How can I make a career out of this?”