What do I want to do? Over the years I’ve written a few posts about returning to work. In the past couple weeks, it’s come up again with my pdoc and my therapist, so I am bringing it up again. I hope my long term readers will indulge me a bit. Over the years there have been many things I’ve wanted to do – farmer, veterinarian, astronaut, actor, studio cameraman, fire fighter, painter, garbage collector, a writer, gardener, cartoonist, and the list goes on. Most of these were flights of fancy when I was a kid, but many carried on into adulthood. This is true especially of writing, or being a cartoonist.
I credit Doonesbury creator, Garry Trudeau, for my desire to be a cartoonist. I was a political junkie at an early age. Started in 1970, Doonesbury’s satire on politics, was not lost on this seven-year-old. If you’re not familiar with Doonesbury, you can go here to learn about it.
My dream of being a writer didn’t begin until high school after reading the classics, especially “Grapes of Wrath.” I too wanted to write the great American novel.
After graduating high school, I pursued both dreams. I bought a large drafting table for drawing. I can’t remember the name of the strip I created, I only remember the lead characters’ name was Marcus Newark, and most stories revolved around his working one job after another, and his many failed relationships. Marcus had a talking dog, much like Brian the dog, on Family Guy. I spent hours working on the cartoon, and looking back. I am quite pleased with the results. I didn’t pursue my desire to be a writer as diligently. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest magazine, and purchased the Writer’s Market book so I would know who to submit my writing to. The problem was that I never wrote anything to submit.
The concern with being a cartoonist, or a writer is I was scared to death. What would happen if my submissions were rejected? How would I possibly handle it? I allowed fear and anxiety to control my life.
What do I Want to do?
I’d forgotten about both pursuits until recently when I declared I am a writer. I don’t know why thirty years ago I worked harder to be a cartoonist than a writer and today I have a much stronger desire to have a novel published. Also, I’ve tossed my desire to write the great American novel out the window and decided to write something fun. I’ve decided to write a mystery novel. Well, that’s not true, being a mystery writer has chosen me. I began reading mysteries regularly and grew to love the genre. Before that I mostly read science fiction, but never took up a desire to write a Syfy.
So, as I’ve said many times, today I am a writer and am having more fun than I could possibly imagine. My therapist, pdoc, and I have all agreed that I should consider gettinga a more traditional job at a later point, but now it’s important to fulfill a major dream of mine once and for all.