Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is this why I do what I do?

Growing up, my career goals differed. I had dreams of becoming

A gardner (age 4)
Dancer, perhaps (age 5)
A dancing gardner, skipping from flowers to trees with my watering pot. (age 6)

Then: a librarian, an archeologist, a marine archeologist searching for Atlantica, explorer, actress, cake expert  - a pro with my own cake studio.

Writer or copywriter? I don't know if I thought that was even an option.
But I remember finding the pic above as a teen and it always struck a chord.

I wanted to get lost like my parents' friend, tapping away at the typewriter, lost in the importance of what I was writing.

It seemed so appealing to me, to be able to work anywhere and by myself. Engaged in work. I think this picture started my writing life. Or at least the dream of it.

I recently asked the woman in the picture what she was writing, did she do a lot of writing, how did that work out for her?

At first, she didn't understand what I was talking about. Her writing life? No, she was a teacher. "But... I have a picture of you, with a typewriter, outdoors - it looks like early spring or late fall" I replied.

She started to laugh. "Oh yes", she said. "I was translating a book on horse care. It didn't work out that well and after that I never really translated again."

Still, if she hadn't given it a go, would I be writing this? If this picture had never been taken, what picture would I have seen instead?

What made you do what you do, what gave you that first spark?

-e, sitting by my computer inside, with the rain pattering against the windows. There are few things I love better.