Up in the air

I do writing, photography and drawing. I just finished a masters in urban strategies and design and am looking for work and thinking about what I want my life to look like going forward.

I used to work as a writer but decided to go to grad school because writing for a living made me hate writing — the only things I was getting paid to write were things that made me bored to death. I want to keep writing and find it nice to not have to do it for a living. Much like you I think that publishing a book is something that I absolutely have to do. I don't care so much if I do it through a traditional publisher but I think it's the most valuable thing a writer can do. I'm currently working on a manuscript for a travel book. My goal is to finish typing it up (because I wrote it all in notebooks) then to edit the crap out of it until it becomes readable then to start looking into publishing options either self-publishing or finding a traditional publisher. I am attracted to self-publishing and small batch publishing because it gives you a lot of control and the ability to do things because you think they're worth doing. I have a blog and am getting back into posting on it after grad school. I have a goal of writing a short story and an essay every week. I tried submitting to journals and pitching when I worked as a writer but it was soul crushing. I like the ability to press a button and see things appear in the world that my blog gives me.

In terms of photography I've been getting better and better over the last few years. I'm taking lots of pictures and have been putting them up on a blog and Society6. I'm out of free space on Wordpress and need to decide where to go now. So that's a big project and I need to figure out what the next thing is for that. I am thinking Smugmug. The file management side of photography is quite overwhelming and I find that the more I go out and take pictures the faster I fill up hard drives and the more time I spend editing and uploading. I am at the point where I am good enough to get some paid photography work so I'd like to do some of that. Partially because I think it would be interesting and partially because photography is quite expensive (gear, software, web stuff, harddrives) and I worry quite a lot about how to make it financially sustainable. Currently it's not. Once I get a job that will hopefully pay for it but right now it's a big worry.

In terms of drawing I drew a lot in junior high and high school but stopped in university. I've gotten back into it over the last few years and have been getting a lot better at it. I'd like to start a blog and a Redbubble or Society6 store and eventually look into publishing kids books (again I don't care if it's self publishing or traditional publishing). Right now I need to build up digital skills and work on how to turn drawings into something more formal looking/digital. I also enjoy watercolour so I'd like to get better at that and work on digitizing it.

I'm not sure if that answers you question properly. I found this helpful and inspiring and think I'm definitely past the trying to survice off my passion thing at least for now. I tried it and it made me not want to write. Now I just want the skills and resources to do the stuff I want to do. I really enjoy blogging and Society6 and am interested in what crowd funding and self-publishing has to offer. I am good at social media and worked in it for a while and like the idea of slowly building up a following and being a part of a bigger community.

Rhi Kirkland
Photography, writing, drawing, watercolour