‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
When you’re a creative,
full of ideas wider and richer
than the colour spectrum,
the question is always asked with curiosity and just a hint
of amusement, as if they know that somehow your dreams will be unattainable
even before listening
to what they are.
And then they will pretend, at first,
that they haven’t judged you.
They’ll smile and give an encouraging nod,
before injecting the poison
you thought your were immune to.
‘You won’t make any money doing that.’
As if dreams are valid only
if they make a jingle in your purse.
Doubt creeps in.
Are you sure that’s what you want to do?
It’s not worth anything. A waste of time.
A waste of you.
No, you say,
reminded every day by other creatives
that doing what you love
is definitely worth something.
The fact that it puts a smile on your face
and makes your heart sing
is worth something.
You are worth something.
Maybe not in coin.
That can be attained in other ways,
part-time jobs to keep you fed and watered.
But to keep you alive,
to keep you you —
only listening to yourself will do that.
Say, ‘I am a writer.
I am a writer, and if the only person I write for is me,
then that is still fine.
I am a writer,
and I enjoy being me.’