In a few words, or more.
Not long ago my mother pulled out an old box filled with items I had created from my childhood for my grandfather. On top was a ghastly picture of a group of penguins, followed by almost as silly poem. It was dated 1975. I was seven years old.
The box was filled with other drawings, stories, and poetry I had written over the years and I recall how I dedicated every waking moment from 7 – 17 to becoming a Disney artist and writer. Nevermind that writers and artists are, generally speaking, separate jobs.
When everyone told me that I’d have to have a ‘Real Job’ before becoming a starving artist-like-troll-living-under-a-bridge, I set out to find someway to make my dream a reality. I could be very stubborn when someone told me I couldn’t do something.
Luckily I hit working status right as the computer/internet boom was in it’s infancy. I worked and quit half a dozen jobs before I began teaching others how to use software and hardware by writing. I fell into it actually, and I’ve been writing, developing, and teaching ever since.
Past, Present, and Future
The Technical Writer
So as I stated before, a couple dozen ‘let’s find out what I want to do jobs’, and I became a technical writer. Surprisingly enough, I was good at it. I took my love of tech and combined writing with my need to help people and badda boom badda bing! I was making a living writing. I’ve worked for Xerox, Tektronix, Freightliner, AKQA (a Nike partner) and a dozen other small contracts throughout the years. I wrote one of the original books on Joomla for Peachpit. I was a writer and author making a decent living.
However, my creative side was shriveling up like a dried prune…
The Web Developer
So what could go wrong? Nothing at first. I was sitting in my pajamas, at home and working. No more 9 – 5 (or these days 8 – 6). I was happy. I was creating. But work was up, then down. There and then gone. And I was slowly going broke…
Back to Our Roots - Writing
I was a successful tech writer. I was a pretty successful web developer/designer. So what happened?
Let’s just skip the excuses, I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do. Oh, I like creating websites. I love the excitement of a site done well and a happy client. But where did the childhood dream go. I wasn’t creating art. I wasn’t writing the fiction book that had been pooling in my head for 20 years…
I kept working (I was incredibly luckily, don’t read this as a complaint). But the more I chased the money ‘for a rainy day’, the farther my dream kept sailing away.