Danielle Mammano

BA Creative Writing & English - Fiction

"From here on out, with the help of SNHU and my support group, I will only work for myself."

Since I am just now starting out at SNHU, I have not succeeded just yet—at least not in my field of study. I decided to go back to school originally because I was making more money at the time and could afford to, and I had always regretted not finishing the first time. This year my company eliminated 30K jobs—mine being one of them. They found reasons to put a lot of us down as "fired" so that we could not even collect unemployment. I have never been a well-off individual, and they were correct in their assumption I wouldn't be able to afford to sue.

I had always wanted to be a famous artist. I aspired to create some kind of profound graphic novel that changed the outlook of the entire genre, much in the way of Sandman or The Watchmen, but as an adult I am unfortunately more concerned with being able to make a living as I've found out the hard way that the term "starving artist" is not just a bitter joke. Oddly enough, when I went to school for art, the highlight of my day was my creative writing class. I think, back then, I'd found my true calling, but never realized it. My teacher was a very stereotypical writer: scruffy stubble, glasses, messy hair, always had coffee (I actually developed a crush) and all he would do is give us a topic and let us go wild with it. I really wished that I could have just taken more classes like that one in a degree in writing, but at the time I didn't think such a thing existed. SNHU proved me wrong there. While I love to draw, it is so much easier and natural for me to create a world with words than with paint or pencil. Before I had wanted to be famous, revered, remembered; now, I just want to be able to have the kind of income that doesn't necessarily define me as "wealthy," but allows me to live within reasonable means and not have to worry so much anymore. If I manage to create something that really takes off, that would be amazing, but if nobody ever knows my name, I will still be happy if I could just say that I got myself into a better life than what I previously had. The whole reason I chose creative writing was so that I could make my own fortune in freelance writing, and I aspire to self-publish. What happened to me this year has cemented that mentality: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I have a little under four years to find the money I will need to pay off my student loans, and as of now I have my own storefront in the works to sell my handmade jewelry as well as a good opportunity to enter the renter's market, which is booming where I live. It is a gamble, of course, but I am not alone and I am confident that things will work out. From here on out, with the help of SNHU and my support group, I will only work for myself because I seem to be the only person I can trust with my financial future. This is something I am totally fine with to be honest. I feel that a college education in the right field can make a person very self-reliant. My boyfriend used his accounting degree to start up his own business, and it's doing rather well. I hope to follow in his footsteps, in my own way, of course. I have so many characters and worlds in my head that are dying to be written down, my sketchbooks are full of their faces and cities; I think for the present I am going to try and focus on getting more of that out of my brain and onto a physical plane. In the future, I'd love to see my brainchild on a shelf in a bookstore.