You’ve Got To Pay the Bills
By Cait Collins
When my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told him I wanted to be an actress. He told me that acting jobs were hard to get. There might be times when the money wasn’t coming in, so how would I pay the bills?
I didn’t have an answer, but I continued to study acting. I did okay. I won a “Best Actress” award for playing an insane woman, Type casting according to my sister. I was also inducted into Delta Psi Omega, a national acting fraternity. While I enjoyed acting, I realized I didn’t have the discipline or drive to act all the time. It’s fun for a while, but I wasn’t in love with the job.
So again my Dad asked what do you want to be? This time I told him I wanted to be a writer. I got the even good writers don’t always make it speech. And he followed the warning by saying, “You have to be able to pay your bills.”
My father died before I could show him how I could be a writer and pay the bills without having a book on the shelf in a book store. I have made a living writing for most of my adult life. I have three television documentaries to my credit and a local 13-week TV series. I’ve written commercial copy, news stories, training materials, sales handouts, two children’s plays, and served as the publicity chairperson for non-profits. I still make my living writing while I work toward my big break.
I may not have written the great American novel or even had a novel published. The point is I am a writer and I pay my bills by writing.