faran krentcil
I've read many of your articles on Elle in recent weeks. I'm very entertained by your unique writing style and thought I could consult you on this, (if this is your real tumblr). I am currently in my freshman year of college, and I'm torn between my financial goals for the future and my true passion. I am a writer at heart, choosing to pursue a career in the sciences for the sake of financial security. How competitive is a writing career? Are you satisfied, and what should I keep in mind?

Hi! So sorry if this is a late response. I’m terrible at keeping up with Tumblr messages.  And yes, this is definitely my real Tumblr! Who would ever make a fake Faran Tumblr?! (Nobody!)

I would say if you’re in your freshman year of college, you still have plenty of time. And the neat thing about college is, your major isn’t all that can prepare you for a career. For example, you can study science and also write for the school newspaper, which would expose you to the daily work of both professions. And I would encourage you to intern EVERYWHERE you can, which will give you a real perspective on what really happens in offices.

As for passions and financial security, that’s a personal decision. But I’m of the mind that if you must do something, if you absolutely have to do it, then you find a way. Perhaps that’s waking up an hour early to write before work. Perhaps it’s taking extra courses so you can double major in science and creative writing or journalism. Maybe it’s writing advertising copy or press releases, which pays well and allows you to play with words. (This is how I started when I first moved to New York. I was frustrated I didn’t work at a magazine, but I paid my rent, learned a lot about the media industry, and within a year, I had my “dream job” as a fashion reporter.)  There are a million ways to go, and very few are as black-and-white as “if I do science, I can’t write. If I write, I can’t do science.” 

Lastly, I’m going to dork out for a second and say that science is really cool. It’s exciting, brutal, and beautiful. And since you’re so young, it can widen your perspective and understanding of the world - and give you some really unique insight as a writer. If you genuinely enjoy science, you’d be crazy to give it up in school. In science, there are so many opportunities to do research in amazing places and to work with a very quirky cast of people. That means besides contributing to meaningful studies and gaining work hours, you’ll also be adding characters and deep experiences to your future writing arsenal.  

Good luck! You can do anything / everything!!!