A few months ago, I had a crisis of identity. I have felt the push, the drive, the need, to publish. To cement myself as a writer. But I didn’t want to publish for myself. I don’t know that I’m ready, and to be honest, I don’t know that I will ever be ready. I wanted to publish because other people wanted me to publish. As I learned with writing, those are the wrong reasons.
You should never write, or draw, or create because someone else wants you to. You should create because you want to. It doesn’t even have to be a matter of need. You just have to want it. I stopped wanting it. This is the first time in awhile that I’ve actually written anything. I’m trying to reset myself. Rekindle the passion and the want. I remember, in college, that I always said I wrote because I needed to. It was a compulsion. Maybe it was then. It’s not anymore. I write because I want to. I share my poems and stories because I want. I haven’t published because I don’t want to.
I was tired of explaining why I got my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Tired of having it treated as a luxury. People saying “must be nice to get a degree because you want to.” As if there’s any other reason. I knew an MFA wouldn’t boost job prospects. Not where I live. I had thoughts about teaching at the college level. But that wasn’t my drive. I didn’t need an MFA. No, instead I simply wanted one. I had to justify my degree by saying that I was a writer. That I would write and make a living writing.
No more. I will not hide behind one word that cannot define who I am. I am more than one word. I am not defined by what I do, but rather I am defined by who I am. Who I say I am. And that can change. It changes all the time. But I’m not alone in this. People change careers. People change hobbies. People do things because they want to. Not everything we do in life has to be because of something larger. It doesn’t have to be for the greater good. It can be for your own good. There is nothing wrong with that.
I’ll say it again. There is nothing wrong with being a little selfish. You can do something because you want to do it. End of story. It seems like there is a big push today, to always strive for the greater. To see that the world needs help and it’s up to you. Instead of up to us. We can’t all cure cancer. I’m sure we all don’t want to. We need individuals in the world, with unique views and opinions. We need the artists, the engineers, the comedians, just as much as we need doctors.
Do not discredit someone because they don’t want to save the world. There are enough people that want to. But is the world worth saving if we lose art, creativity, and passion? Difference is what unites us. Single word definitions pigeonhole us into specific and concrete roles. Is a doctor just a doctor? Of course not. No one is one word.
So, of course, I am a writer. But I am more than that. I enjoy more than that. I enjoy my job, where I work as a sales manager and account for a local business. I enjoy the freelancing work that I do, where I write and do graphic design. I enjoy maintaining this blog, when I get around to it.
It took me awhile to figure this out. Longer to be able to say it. I wanted my work and my life to mean something. I wanted to contribute to the greater good of society. I thought about law. I thought about teaching. I still might circle back to those. But for now, I am happy and content doing what I am. Working a nine to five and writing and designing on the side. I help people with their own problems. This could be as simple as designing a business card, writing a blog post, or balancing business accounts. And that’s okay.
My name is Jacob Kolasch. I will not save the world. But I hope to make it a little more enjoyable just by being me and sharing my thoughts and my writing.