Speaking of insecurities, I could catalog mine all day. Ever make a major life decision without necessarily knowing how important it may or may not turn out to be? Then spend what seems the rest of your life trying to explain it so you won’t be judged and found wanting?
Yeah, the subject of my college major goes a bit like that.
I majored in cultural anthropology with a minor in East Asian studies. The last time I said that, the person started laughing, then calmed down enough to ask, “How did you ever think that was marketable?” This from someone I like and respect. And that’s hardly the first time.
- Stop and consider the thinking and communication skills — the writing and analysis. You’re taught how to communicate with anyone, from any culture. How is that NOT marketable?
- Why should I even care about marketability? I know what I want with my life, and a “normal” career path is not it. I chose a field that would improve my worldbuilding and enhance my storytelling.*
- It’s no one’s damn business but my own, and I should not feel the need to justify myself to anyone else.
*People also tend to think that English is the only major a writer should want. But when high school essays stressed me out to the point of hating writing, I took that as a sign that choosing such a major would be anything but helpful in achieving life goals.
So imagine my joy this morning when I stumbled across a three-part series of blogposts about worldbuilding from Lucienne Diver, writer and agent of some of my favorite books. Part one starts here and I highly recommend checking it out. She has a lot of fantastic things to say, but my favorite part is when she says that worldbuilding is pretty much cultural anthropology.
That’s the best affirmation I’ve had in a while.