If I Were Not a Freelance Writer, I'd...

After writing yesterday’s post on how I got started with freelance writing, I quietly reflected on some of the career choices I’ve made along the way. It’s not like I got into this business by accident, per se, but it wasn’t exactly an aspiration that I had growing up as a child.

And so, I started to think what sort of job I would be holding if I did not choose to embark on this freelance writing journey. Looking back, I think there were at least three major possible paths that I could have taken instead. Whether any of these would have been a brighter idea is anyone’s guess.

Option #1: Architect

As a child, I was almost certain that I was going to grow up to be an architect. I was fascinated by blueprints and I thought it was amazing how they could construct such monumental structures. The artistic expression of architecture had its appeal as well.

It certainly helped that I really enjoyed sketching things and I was pretty good at math. In high school, I took some drafting courses to learn about the actual practices, standards, and software. In the end, I opted against this career choice for a number of reasons, including some of the requirements to get into a school of architecture.

Option #2: Comic Strip Artist

This career option may have been even less conventional than my current choice to be a freelance writer, but it was certainly an attractive option. I’ve never been really big into comic books, but I’ve always enjoyed comic strips.

From Calvin and Hobbes to The Far Side, the Sunday funnies captivated my interest for years. I thought I could be the next Bill Watterson or Gary Larson, again leaning back to my inclinations to sketch (as per above). Unfortunately, I found my humor writing skills to be lacking; I’m much better suited, it seems, for non-fiction, blogging, product reviews, editorials, and the like.

Option #3: Psychologist

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you may already know that I majored in my worst subject in school. I graduated with a psychology degree from the University of British Columbia (with a minor in English Literature).

Along the way, I considered several possible career paths within the realm of psychology. I thought about being a clinical psychologist, helping people overcome some of their issues. I thought about being a forensic psychologist, working through the complexities of the criminal mind. I thought about abnormal psychology, studying conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder.

As much as I enjoy learning, I couldn’t convince myself to fight all the way through a master’s degree and a PhD. The delayed gratification would have been grueling. Even then, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a career in academia at all.

Life Is Filled with What Ifs

And so, I somehow ended up with this career as a professional gadget geek freelance writer (and published author). I have no regrets, but it is an interesting thought experiment to consider what could have been.

With that, I turn to you. If you did not have the job that you currently have, what career do you think you would have otherwise pursued? Do you think you’d be more or less successful at this alternative occupation?