I feel like my chance to be a writer/editor/proofreader has passed. I rushed through school and didn't take a publishing class, and I can't afford to go back to school again. I have no idea how/where to start. Absolutely any advice is appreciated. I'd hate to wake up in 20 years and feel like kicking myself for not doing the things I wanted to, but every day I feel discouraged so I don't even make an effort.
It is never too late. Yo!
I have to say this: School will never be ‘the only chance you have.’ It just won’t be. School is great, really, but I went through college without writing one nonfiction piece and now I’m writing my second nonfiction memoir. If you have your shit together in college, good for you, but I didn’t. I started off college feeling mighty depressed and failed a bunch of classes. I was on academic probation. I switched my major halfway through. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or be. I just looked at 'writer’ as this very vague word, because it is, and I fucked up and still graduated and now I am nothing like the girl I was. College was not the right time for me to shine. College was the beginning.
What changed? I made an effort. You owe it to your life to make a fucking effort. Not making an effort, not trying, not moving, is exactly how you end up 20 years from now feeling bad for yourself.
All you have to do is start somewhere. Start somewhere so small it barely makes waves, and then keep piling it up until you have something to show for it. I got a tumblr domain. I wrote little things for months. I didn’t publish any of it. Then I did. Then I wrote shitty things and published those. Then, I started to figure out what I liked, how I wrote, what I wanted, and who I was. So start somewhere: apply to jobs you don’t think you are qualified for. Ask to edit people’s work for free. Write. Narrow down what you love and expand your opportunities and keep some room for, you know, changing everything should the right thing come along.
The only way you will figure out who you are as a person is to do it, constantly and endlessly, until you barely sort it out. Sort. it. Out.
I still get rejected. I just handed in what I thought was a great piece to my favorite website and they said 'try again.’ I still get rejected and I still will and that’s just how it is. But I try. If you wake up in a couple of decades with nothing to show for anything, it will be because you didn’t give yourself the courtesy of making the effort.
And even then? It will never be too late. Until you give up.