Nothing you are doing is a waste.
This is what I tell myself. Every day I go to my job where I’m a senior marketing specialist, and I know it’s a lie. I am not a specialist of marketing. I am not a specialist of anything except for putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and writing writing writing. When I graduated college and stepped into the 9-5 world, I felt the emptiness that artists feel when straying from their art in order to pay the bills. Resentment. Anger. Bitterness, even. But eventually I learned: nothing I am doing is a waste. And nothing you are doing is a waste either.
The skills I learn here I will one day apply to my own career. When I am a published author, I will use these years spent marketing to promote my book; publicizing with tight strategic campaigns, incorporating PPC, social media, blogs, and guest posts. Won’t I? I refuse to waste these years.
What are you? Besides a writer? Are you in sales? When you pitch to a client, keep your book in your mind: you’ll pitch it one day. You work in a plant—watch the machines. In the turning gears you might see the next great science fiction novel. You’re in retail. Ha. You have the easiest job of all. Watch those people, the ones that f*ck up your carefully arranged towers of t-shirts, and record every single stupid thing they do. You don’t love retail. I don’t love marketing. But I love what it will create.
All of this matters. Your life is not a waste. Folding t-shirts doesn’t mean you’re not a writer—you’re just a writer folding t-shirts.