Tag Archives: unemployment

In Defense of an Arts Degree

So not only does an Arts degree not at all lead to a job, we knew this when we signed up for one, but now they’re telling us that having an Arts degree actually reduces your overall earnings compared to someone who left education at 18. (The article is from 2003, but I can’t imagine it’s gotten any better since then.  If anything, it’s probably worse.)

And this guy can tell you just how miserable it is to be an unemployed Arts graduate (in case you didn’t already know):

And even people, like The Husband who has both an undergraduate AND a Masters in his Arts subject, who don’t think they’re too good to be a labourer, barman/-maid, cleaner, waiter/-ress or call centre worker still can’t get work.  Those jobs typically won’t employ graduates, because they believe they won’t stick around long.  Little do they know that a graduate would be just as likely to stick around as anyone else, since there is literally nothing else out there.

However, does this mean that future undergraduates should eschew the Arts in favour of something more lucrative?  Or maybe forgo university altogether?

I think not.  And this is why:

We are not mere money-making machines.

I believe people still have the right to pursue what avenues excite them.  And for many, that avenue is in the Arts.  To reject that is to reject part of what makes you you.  Perhaps you’ll earn more in a Science or Business-related degree, but at the end of your life will you feel more fulfilled?  Will you be able to say that you did everything you wanted to do in life?

We only get one go at this mortal coil, let’s not throw it away on something so baseless as the pursuit of hard, cold cash.

Yes, we need to earn a living – but the emphasis should be the living and not the earning.  Right now it sucks to try to do either, but Arts graduates are nothing if not resourceful.

Writer’s Blah

I wouldn’t exactly call what I’m going through right now “writer’s block”, it’s more like “writer’s blah”.  Usually when I get this my reaction is to want to wipe the slate clean by starting a new project.  And this is why I have three rough drafts and no shiny, completed novels.


What happens is that I decide, with all the best intentions and positive outlook, to start working on one of those drafts again.  Lately it’s been Cobault, which is the most put-together of the drafts despite being in the midst of massive rewriting.  I open the document, skim through to where I left off and back track a chapter or two.  By reading what came before, editing as I go, I generally get into it easier.  However, lately I have been reading what came before and thinking to myself:


It’s shite.  I’m shite, this is shite, he’s shite and she’s shite.  I start to mentally plan just how much re-rewriting I have to do, overload my mental circuitry and minimize the screen in panic.  As a result, I’ve stalled.  Ever since finishing The Long Road Home, which I was at first really pleased with during the process but then afterwards I realised, no, that’s shite as well.

This needs to stop happening if I’m to get anywhere.  I just need to relax, stop judging myself and just let the words flow, shite or no shite.  But they’re just not flowing, stifled by my cries of “Shite, shite, shitey-shite!!” that would make my husband concerned for my sanity if indeed these shouts were vocalised.  I’m telling myself that I need to just Do It Or Else, but the Or Else part fails to be truly threatening because I know I’m bluffing.  Or Else what, mind?  You’ll make me mindlessly surf the internet and scour Failblog for three hours?  That’s just what we do already, you lazy, unemployed lump of grey matter!

This is also why I’ve been so dedicated to updating this blog, as a sort of penance for not really writing properly.  As if to be presenting these posts like offerings at the altar of my counter-productivity, hoping to satiate the little demons in my head who prod me with vicious little guilt-sticks.


I’m hoping that I’ll get more productive now that I’m going to be volunteering two days a week with holy-crap-amazing birds of prey at Raptor World, part of the Cupar Deer Centre.  I always find that the less I do the less I want to do, so let’s see if I can swing that cycle of nonsense the other way ’round.  Today I’m off to go buy some waterproof trousers, as I’ll no doubt be scraping raptor poo off of various surfaces in rain, wind, hail and snow.

Is it weird I’m looking forward to that?  You can tell I’ve been most terribly bored.