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.


  1. I guess years and years of watching cartoons and animated movies (Disney mostly, I guess) finally came back to kick me in the euphemism! Not that it's a BIG surprise, I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I like to think that made my parent's life easy.. like: go to a boring restaurant? Bring a piece of paper and pens. Want to go on holiday and it starts raining there? No problem. Paper and pens. Same for you with writing?

  2. You're an artist? Illustrator? graphic designer? I don't know about writing, I've mostly read when there's nothing else to do. haven't really been bored since I learned to read.

  3. There you go - reading, drawing, knitting I guess (hmm, interestingly, all things you can do very well while on a long train journey) all cures for boredom. Eternal cures. That's one good medicine!
    I'm animating now, which is like playing with your stuffed animals as a kid with a sister, except now you don't see my hands move them!! It's awesome.


I welcome any comment, so happy to hear from you.