Dear Younger Self,
I can tell you there are TONS of writers out there who are self taught and don’t have creative writing degrees, and plenty of them are very successful. Many writers get better at writing through self-help books and weekly writer’s group. That’s where I kickstarted my writing and met my writing partner. Since then we've co-Authored Allyson Darke plus another book, (although we eventually shelved it) and started a trans-media storytelling company! It's where I was inspired to think about who I was and wanted to be. You're a natural born artist and storyteller, but you might forget that for a while, consciously at least. Your skills will eek out of you in so many unconscious ways, and you wont even see it. That's OK. Forgetting yourself, and even failing is an integral part of learning. Take it all in. Don’t be intimidated. If there’s anything I’ve learned: follow your intuition, even if it’s ‘early’, you never know where it might lead, because the subconscious is a powerful thing.
As for grad school, give it time. Lots of grad programs require time between undergrad & grad school, or so many years of field experience. I wish all grad programs did. I never thought I’d go to grad school, but now I’m here I’m sooo glad I have 10 yrs experience in the field after my undergrad. It’s given me so much discipline & general experience I didn’t have when I was your age. I honestly never dreamed I’d be doing what I am now, life is funny that way. Plus your 20s, and even your 30s, are for figuring out who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly. Embrace it all, learn about your 'flaws', your dislikes, and use that knowledge to your advantage, its powerful, not embarrassing.
Life is not a race, there’s no finish line, only the journey. If you want to draw and paint all day, you’ll find a way, if you want to do something else, you’ll find a way. Whatever you do, find a way to enjoy it, because you only have one life to live. Don't get to your deathbed and realize how powerfully you regret not doing something when you had the chance. Every day is your chance to start fresh and realign your self to the journey you want to have.
Write or draw anything. Stop being critical. Love yourself. Honor and respect your talent, and your body. No one else can do that for you. There are enough people who want to tear you down, don’t be one of them.
I love you, I thank you.
Your Older Self