So I’ve been debating on how best to use my spare time as I currently have quite an abundance of time. Graduating in October, I wonder what to do after. Currently I have no ‘hard skills’ (i.e. technical skills) that is easily employable. What I’ve gained from my years as an undergrad is simply learning how to learn. But at this point, I’m not even sure if that worth the $30,000 of debt I’ve put myself in. It’d be best if I saved that for another blog entry though.
So what are my options as of right now that can both be financially rewarding as well as fulfill me as a person on a fundamental level? At the very top of my head, it would be Fine Arts. The ideal 5 year road plan would be to brush on my art skills, enough to the point where I don’t feel my artistic talent is limiting my vision of what I want on a piece of paper. But this road is ill advised to anybody interesting in entering the Arts industry. The hours are long and financially unrewarding. Take for instance a weekly chapter from your favorite mangaka (artist) – 20 pages. From my time of watching art streamers who’ve broadcast their work process live, it seems on average it is a day’s worth of work to produce 1 page (from drafting to inking to toning/shading the work). A day’s worth of work to most people is 8 hours. Their typical 9-5pm job. But for an artist, they are constantly working 12, up to 16 hours of work a day in order to meet their deadlines. If it takes 8 hours to do 1 page, that means for a 20 page chapter, it would be 160 hours worth of work (8 hours * 20 pages). Say for instance you get $2000 per chapter from your publisher (unlikely, but let’s go with this). This means $2000/120 hours, you have made $12.5/hour. Better than minimum wage, but worse than any ‘real job’ one can find after graduating with a degree. But hey, if the saying of ‘doing what you love and you’ll never have to work a day’ holds true, then it shouldn’t be that bad right? Of course this is assuming you even get $2000 per chapter.
So what’s next on the list? eCommerce. I guess you can say this blog could potentially fall into that category. But would it be worth it? For the learning experience, I’m sure. But I’m graduating soon with no job in sight, which leaves me broke and desperately in the money. Not sure if I want to jump through the hoops in gaining mediocre traction for this blog. A successful blog can’t be grown within days, or months, but only years. This time is not something I can afford. Plus, it takes way too much effort to run a successful blog. Your content has to be interested. They have to have pictures because people are quite superficial when it comes to reading new content from an unknown writer. The blogs have to have sources, links for credibility. They also have to have links embedded into the blog itself, so you can redirect your viewer to other articles you have posted. All in all, a lot of time and effort. Don’t even get me started on how to advertise and monetize it (SEO, affiliate ads, etc.). But as they say Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s hard to complain when you haven’t put in the time and effort to build your brand.
In the end, I’m sure it’s best to walk the path of least resistance. And as of this moment it is to simply use my degree and work for ‘the man’. Do something mundane and boring but be paid a fair wage. Entrepreneurship, the struggle it takes to succeed in doing what you love may very well be a pipe dream when bills are piling and time is moving too fast for you to remove yourself from the world and incubate in your little hut. People would tell me that I’m young and that I have the time to figure things out. But on the other hand I hear of stories of men and women in their 30s and 40s who still don’t have an idea on what they’d do for the rest of their life. Is life really just about doing the necessity to feed yourself and find as much time as possible to entertain yourself with the things you actually do like to do? If so, that may very well be the sad reality I’ll have to face in a few months time. But until the convocation date, I’ll enjoy the very scarce time I have left to do the things I love.
It took me 30 minutes to write this. Was it worth it? I don’t even know. Blogging is hard. I’m sure the best way to succeed is to become an aggregator where you’re just taking a bunch of materials from other sites and condensing it onto your own with click bait titles. Something like a “Top 10 ways to lose weight in the near year!” or “How to gain 1000 followers today!”. As I mentioned before, it’s near impossible to be an unknown writer on an unknown blog.