Swoon Author Danika Stone: My Secret Life

clark kent superman

We live in a world that tells people they have two options: the wise choice (home, security, family), or the exciting choice (writing, passion, creativity). I refuse to believe that. I think we can both opt for jobs that support us, do good for humanity, AND have a motivating passion that keeps us up at night.

I just don’t buy that they have to be the SAME thing!

In the last few years, I’ve developed two identities: My Clark Kent life, where I teach New Media at an urban high school, and my Superman life as a novelist. I love both. I am passionate about both. And you know what? It was easier to break into writing because I wasn’t so worried about how I’d pay my bills. That’s right. It was easier because I had a day job.

Here’s my advice to fellow writers waiting for their own break:

For your “Clark Kent job,” choose something you’re good at and can make money at. Why? Because taxes need to be paid, kids need to be raised, mortgages paid. It helps society to have these options. So go ahead, be a good citizen. I won’t judge.

With your daily necessities covered, you can focus on your “Superman job”: Writing. The books you write should be those that set you on fire. They should embrace topics you are passionate about. Your writing should NOT be guided (READ: limited) by whether or not you can make money. And since you’re approaching it as Superman, it doesn’t matter at all if you can! Clark Kent’s paying the bills, remember?

Research has proven that money is NOT what makes us creative and passionate. In fact, in some cases it’s the opposite. (There are at least ten TED talks on this very notion.) So let go of your fears of starving and throw away the idea of monetizing. Follow your dreams of being a writer and do whatever you need to do to make it happen. You CAN be everything, but rather than opting—as many do—to starve in a garret, divide your life in two. That way Clark Kent can pay the bills while Superman learns to soar!    

Author spotlight

Danika Stone

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of …

See More