Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Whole Need to Write Thing

One thing that I try not to dwell on is that it has taken me until this point of my life to discover the joy that I find with writing. I also try to push to the back of my mind that I would have preferred to go more into the arts as opposed to the somewhat painful path of Business Economics that I had settled on for my college career. Has the business degree helped me in some respect? Of course it has, at least in the sense that I was able to squeeze out a bit more income from future jobs, but that would be the extent of it. Did Business Economics help me with my own personal finance? Hell no. I had to "blow it" on many different occasions and "learn the hard way." I did, however, eventually learn from the many difficult lessons and independently set out to become aware of how to get out of the holes that I dug myself into and how to stay out of them; it is still a task that I devote myself to today. I even went so far as to take a serious of classes to become a personal financial planner, which was tremendously helpful and borderline interesting, but that was not necessarily the road I wished to travel down either. I will talk about the financial planning thing another time.

Back to writing. At a few points in the past twelve years, I clumsily danced around the idea of writing: bad poetry, journals, oddities that I noticed from the wonderful world of retail (definitely back to that throughout the course of this blog), and even so far as starting both a novel and a children's book. I will someday pick up both the novel and the kid's book and hopefully not the bad poetry. I will try my damnedest not to revisit the bad poetry.
The kick in the rear to seriously pursue writing for my own enjoyment and to toy around with ideas and plots and characters came down to the San Diego Comic Convention of 2008. Wow. That is such a nerdy sounding thing to say, but it is the truth and with writing I believe that honesty is the best policy, even if it ends up not showing myself in the best of lights. At the SDCC, I ended up going to a panel for J.M. Straczynski on writing. I first became aware of Straczynski's works through the comic Supreme Power, which was a reinvention of The Squadron Supreme, and from there I discovered Straczynski's other books such as Midnight Nation and Rising Stars. To say that I loved Supreme Power would be an understatement, but I more than anything wanted to hear what this new hero of mine had to say.
*Before I go further, read his current run on the Brave and the Bold if you enjoy super hero comics and want something that is much deeper than your average run-of-the-mill super hero beat-em-up comic book. The great part of this series is that each issue is a stand alone story, so you can start anywhere.
To boil down what he had to say came down to two main points. First of all, if you compose two pages every day, despite all distractions, you will have written about one and a half novels in one year's time. Oh. Hell. Wait a minute, let me do the math. Two multiplied by three hundred and sixty five days equals -- shit, a business economics degree means that I need a calculator to add two plus two -- seven hundred and thirty pages after one years time. Two pages a night is nothing. "I could do that," I thought, and then the other component of that thought crept in, "why the hell have I not been doing that all along?" Straczynski continued on and more than anything I wished that I had a way to record him so that I could play back his speech over and over again. So much information, and I was not just inspired by the man, I was also reminded of something that I had been flirting with for so long. Why was I not writing? I enjoy it. I might not be good at it, but does that really matter? There is the possibility that I could get better. Does writing make me happy? Does it make me feel like I have actually accomplished something after sitting in a cube for eight hours a day, five days a week? Most definitely yes.
My wife is circling around me to go for a run that I know I need to go on and I promised I would join her. I will have to pick up on the rest of this ridiculous rant later.


1 comment:

  1. I remember that day! I don't know about The Squadron Supreme, but I liked J.M. Straczynski. Let's watch Babylon 5.