20something profile: Tinika
If someone told me my life would turn out like this, I’d probably laugh. Not because my life lacks meaning or it’s hard, but because it’s not the way I imagined. Robert Burns said it best: the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.
Although I was always good at writing, I never wanted to pursue it professionally. It was always something that I did for fun. I thought that if I became serious about it, it would stop being fun, and I would hate it.
Instead, I decided to focus my energies on becoming a psychologist. After I graduated high school, I decided to do that at Florida A&M. Although I was doing well in school and enjoying my experiences there, I had to leave a year and a half later due to financial and personal issues.
When I got back to Jersey, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Of course, I wanted to go back to school. I held onto the hope of returning for several months. However, it became obvious I wouldn’t be able to for a while, so I set out to find a job. After a couple months of searching, I landed a job as an insurance agent and got my insurance license.
I stayed with the insurance firm for a little over a year. Although I liked my job most days, it was clear it wasn’t for me. Selling insurance requires you to be pushy and domineering, and that just isn’t me. I also wasn’t making that much money. The unfortunate thing about selling insurance is that in order to make any money, you have to be consistent in making and keeping sales.
I landed another job at a benefit enrollment center. It’s a much better fit for me. I don’t have to be very pushy, and I get an hourly rate. However, insurance isn’t what I want to do forever. That’s when writing came back into my life again.
Through Twitter, I found out about National Novel Writing Month and decided to try it. Although it was a lot of hard work, I finished my novel, Madness, in 27 days. I never felt so fulfilled and happy about something in my life. In that moment, I knew I wanted to make a career out of writing.
It’s been about two years since then. Madness has been out for about 5 months, and I have had short stories, poems, and articles published since then. I also have my own blog, Loss for Words, and contribute to Filmcooler.com. I haven’t been able to make a livable wage off my writing yet, but hopefully I will in the future.
I’m not sure what the future will hold, but that’s part of the fun. The possibilities are endless, especially when it comes to my writing career. There are so many opportunities and chances for growth. I think that is part of every aspect of our lives. We just have to be brave enough to explore them.