Okay, so yes - I could be talking about the election. I've made no secret that I support Obama and tend to lean to the democratic side, but that's not what this blog is about. So for those of you exhausted by the marathon election season, you can safely keep reading. No political discourse follows.
It's my birthday today, and this is the time I take stock in my life, both personally and professionally, evaluate the successes and failures and plot a course toward a brighter future. A lot of people choose this exercise at the coming of the new year, but for me, I've always done it this way. But the honest truth is, you don't have to wait for New Year's or your birthday or even flag day (one of these days I'm going to have a flag day party that will be something like a toga party where guests come draped in their favorite flag - just saying). You could even do it today. There's never a wrong time to start living the life you want to lead, to start being the person you want to be, to start pursuing the dream you want to achieve.
Earlier this evening (I am writing this on the eve of my birthday), I took some time to chat with an aspiring writer about career advice (to the extent that I have any to offer). For the record, I refer to any writer who has yet to earn money from their work as "aspiring." In truth, the term simply "writer" could apply. It's not like the monetary result is necessary to achieve that status. I do it more to differentiate it from what I call "wannabe writers." These are people who talk about writing, claim to love writing, but never seem to actually do any writing. It's an empty title they use to fool themselves in thinking they are something they are not. Of course, at any time, these wannabe writers could convert into aspiring writers simply by putting their ass in the seat and punching on the keyboard for a spell. But most of them never have the stomach for it.
Anyway, as I talked with this aspiring writer, many of my comments could have been bounced back to me with a mirror. Writing is about forward progress - about working toward something. Writing is not being afraid that what you create will be crap. It might. Chances are, at first, it probably will be. But that's okay. Writing is a process. You can only learn by doing. That's not to say classes and books and such are not immensely helpful, but the real progress comes from putting the effort onto the page, day after day.
Writing is a demanding endeavor - without relief. No matter how much I write, I can always write more. No matter how much I read, I can always read more. And those are the two vital staples for any writer - writing and reading. And don't get lost in any one genre or format. Read it all - comics, books, magazine articles, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, etc. Like any career worth doing, as a writer you are never done learning.
As of now, I have my first novel, THE LOST SPARK, coming out early in 2013, as well as another creator comic series premiering in April through Aspen Comics. I'm very excited about both, but right at this moment, I am at that terrifying, yet exciting stage of writing. For tomorrow, I'll begin my next novel - a completely new concept and world. It's something I've been developing for quite awhile now, and the time has come to simply begin. And, I can't think of a better way to speed my birthday than inside a new world of my own creation.
Of course, I'll probably work in a beer two to celebrate as well. I mean, writing is thirsty business.
And, to all you out there hoping or wishing or working toward a dream, I give you my birthday, November 14th. It's as good a day as any to recharge your battery, strengthen your resolve, and reset your determination. Let it be your catalyst to reignite that fire in your belly - that drive to work toward something of passion and purpose. Good luck and keep up the great work.