I'm sure my #GoingSolo piece is about something near and dear to quite a few here on Creators.co : My journey to #Verified status, being paid to do the thing I love most. Like many of you, I came to Creators through Movie Pilot, enrolling in the Creators Academy soon after that. Really, though, my story begins quite a while before that. It begins at a point in life that most people head into with a gaggle of good friends by their side. For me, however, things were quite different.
One Final Year
After learning that I was to undergo a serious operation on my knee midway through what would have been my second-last year of High School, I made the decision to split my VCE (Usually the final two years of Secondary education in Victoria) over three years. There were a number of advantages to this, such as a much lighter workload due to taking fewer subjects each year, leaving more free time for homework and study. As someone who had always taken a little longer to get things done -Not out of laziness, I suffer low muscle tone so was genuinely just slower- The extra time was a definite boon.
On the downside, my classmates at the time (Many of whom I'd known since the beginning of Primary School, some as early as Kindergarten) would graduate a year before me. I knew very few people in the year below me, meaning I would be stepping into my final year of High School almost completely alone. As hard as this would be, it was never really a difficult choice. I knew what I wanted in the future, that a good education was important, and that taking that third year to complete school was my best chance of getting it.
Write, Write, Write
I had a talent for reading and writing from a young age, with that talent morphing into a true passion as I reached my teen years. Having gotten most of the boring, compulsory subjects out of the way in the first two years of my VCE, and my friends having moved on, I was able to use that final year to zero in and focus on the subjects that I believed were most helpful to my future Writing ambitions: Literature and Media Studies (I had already completed General English). I was determined to do well in these classes, and I am pleased to say I succeeded in that goal.
The difficult part came around mid-year, when we were expected to begin applying for University courses. I researched quite a few writing related courses, but none seemed quite right for me. Still, we were expected to apply for at least one, so I chose the best two of a not-so-perfect options. If there's one piece of advice I can give to anyone who reads this, it is not to feel pressured into any course that doesn't feel like the right fit. Settling on this could cause a chain reaction in which you a funneled from a course you do not enjoy into a career you do not enjoy, which will ultimately not end well. Again, though, thankfully, that was not exactly what happened to me.
A Gap Year.. Or Two.. Or Three
Despite how well I had done at school, I was not accepted into either of the university courses to which I had applied. I admit, this upset me more than I let anyone know at the time. It seemed as though my final year of school had amounted to little. I found myself in a bit of a funk, and my single planned Gap year stretched into a few years of doing not much at all.
At this point, I'd like to point out that I am not at all ashamed of those years. I needed that time to recover, both mentally and physically, from those last few high school years. The next piece of advice I can give is to never feel ashamed of taking that time out if you need it. A gap year need not be full of travelling, or charity that will make it somehow more meaningful. If you need that year, or even a little more, to just chill out, or recover from disappointment, that is totally fine. That's what I did, and it eventually turned out for the best.
Forging A New Path
Eventually, I decided I just needed to get back on the Horse. After completing a few other online courses in creative writing, I stumbled upon Movie Pilot, and then, The Creators Academy. The opportunity to become a Verified Creator and be paid for my writing seemed to good to be true. Of course, as my fellow VC's can attest, it is all wonderfully real. I wasted no time in signing up for the course. Being able to work through at my own pace made it absolutely perfect for me.
After completing the course, I fired of my Verified Creator application- and was knocked back. This time, though, I didn't let it get me down. After all, unlike my last letter, this one was more a 'not quite yet' than a flat out 'No'. I just had a few things to work on, so I worked on them. A week or two later, I applied again, and was soon accepted. Hooray!
Do What's Best For You.
So, I suppose everything worked out alright for me in the end. I believe, quite strongly, that this is because I stuck to doing what felt right for me, rather than bowing to what anyone else wanted me to do. The one time I did let myself be pushed (rushing to apply for Uni) was where I tripped up. Taking the extra year to finish school was the right thing for me, as was taking a break afterwards.
The opposite entirely may be what seems best for you, and if it is, go ahead. Follow the path that feels right, and you can almost never go wrong. If you end up doing something you enjoy, and getting paid for it, even a little, then that's the best ending of all.