Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG - May Edition... Part 4


The great Alex J Cavanaugh once had a dream. To give all the writers of the world who suffered from one neurosis or another an opportunity to vent to the world all their frustrations or fears into the world without the worry of judgement.


My big take for this month: I’m not so bad.

I’m turning 40 this month. The big Four-Oh. And as such, I think it’s given me an excuse to examine my life. Not just writing, but everything. My wife, trying to be supportive, had a conversation with me the other day on the topic. It went something like this:

Her: “I think you should be a scientist.”

Me: “Me too, but I’m not qualified.”

Her: “You’re as smart as any of them, you should be one anyway.”

Me: “You think I’m smart?”

Her: “Well, don’t get carried away. They don’t know what they’re doing anyway. Did you know they say the Brontosaurus isn’t real anymore? And don’t get me started about dark matter?”

Me: “This part sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before?”

Her: Shrugs. “I’m just saying. You can make up crazy stuff just as easily as they can.”

Me: “Are you encouraging me, or not?

Her: “Look, there are all sorts of labs around here. Go… be a scientist.”

And with that, she was done. That may not have been a true transcription, as it took place last weekend and I’m retelling it now - the details may have gotten fuzzy. I thought we should’ve spent more time talking about the qualifications necessary before applying for a position. As I’m pretty sure people showing up off the street and demanding to be named ‘scientist’ and given a job don’t have a high success rate. But then again, maybe that’ll work.

But her larger point, which I’ll summarize instead of giving it away through dialogue, is that I may have missed my calling in life. And she’s telling me I can still pursue my dreams.

I told her I like to write, but she meant dreams that make me money. Not dreams that eat up my nights and weekends and don’t bring in any income.

Sigh. Did I have a point? This had something to do with the IWSG for August. I meant to be encouraging. Especially after last month when I said I was going to stop complaining all the time.

Regardless, thanks Alex. It't been a good year.

27 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And it has been a whole year now!
She was encouraging, but I think going back to school to be a scientist would eat up some time and money as well.
And forty? Young pup!!
Dreams aren't about money. Dreams are what makes us better people.

Brinda said...

Scientists make money? I wish I had figured out the "good money" occupations a long time ago. I'm in education. Enough said.

Yes, you should pursue your dreams. She is a good woman.

stu said...

I briefly thought about being a scientist, but it's really rather tricky to get into.

Susan Roebuck said...

If being a scientist is your dream, then go for it! But I think you're really a fabulous writer and that your dream of making lots of money at that will come true. There :-)

Jo said...

I've been dreaming about doing something different for years but never followed that dream. At my age, its a bit late, but at 40 we moved continents (well I was 37, hubby was 40)so at 40 you can do anything including studying to be a scientist if that's you dream.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

40 is a great age. My middle son turned 40 in May. He's actually 40 going on 20. His son is 21 and most days it's hard to tell which one is older. Maybe that's why our son looks so young for his age, few responsibilities. Oops, I've just aged myself and revealed the secret to being old, having too many responsibilities. Oh well, happy IWSG, Rusty.

sydneyaaliyah said...

I have been feeling I am too old to pursue this writing dream. And, that it will always remain just that, a dream. But, there is hope. Thanks for the reminder.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Scientists don't make money. My friend Blas Uberuaga is a PhD scientist at Los Alamos, and I think, may make 100,000 a year.

Mitt Romney said, "I only get paid $300,000 or so for public speaking which isn't very much."

That puts it into perspective.

The real "money-makers" in life are celebrities like Snooki from the Jersey Shore.

Good luck though on following the money train. I hope it comes in for you in buckets.

Andrew Leon said...

That whole brontosaurus was one of my first lessons that scientists are no better than anyone else. It was like when I got to high school, I had to unlearn all the idealistic crap they taught me in elementary school. Like about science and the founding fathers and government...

Don't be a scientist. Just write about it. That's where all the cool ideas are anyway.

Tonja said...

What kind of scientist? Not one of those that try to splice together goats and spiders?! I think it would be more fun to create a mad scientist character. Physics class made me very sleepy.

Cherie Colyer said...

Isn't 40 the new 30? So you're really repeating your thirties. I hope they were good. :) What I want to know, is if you're a scientist, do you get a lab? That could be a lot of fun.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Wait, so is your wife secretly Briane Pagel? Come to think of it, I haven't ever seen them in a room together...or in a room at all.

M.J. Fifield said...

The brontosaurus isn't real? First Pluto, now this.

But if being a scientist is your dream, then I agree that you should go for it.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Glad you've had a good year!

Jeannette said...

In a roundabout way, you are being encouraging. I feel better knowing other people can be bummed about not knowing what they want to be when they grow up.

Maybe instead of unfocused, we should consider ourselves more colourful. It's a journey, not a destination. But yes, money would be helpful.

Keep at it. And I agree with a comment above... don't be a scientist, just write about it.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Happy soon-to-be-forty! I hit that milestone last fall, and for some reason I'm feeling old all of a sudden. Being introspective only makes it worse, so stick with following your dreams, whatever they turn out to be! Writing is cool, in that you get to create all kinds of neat places and people. :)

Laura said...

trust me, science isn't an = to money!
And those dreams, I'm figuring you kind of have to follow them blindly and then some crazy stuff happens
Lxxx

Mel Chesley said...

I don't mind your complaining. I do it all the time as well, it feels like. I think I missed my calling too, but don't know if I can even afford to go to law school now. XD

Ciara said...

I turned 40 this year, too. My husband didn't tell me to stop writing. He told me I should start writing mommy porn so I could make some money.

Stephen Tremp said...

We all go through cycles of ups and downs. Glad to see you're on the upside. Take that momentum and carry on for the rest of the year and do great things!

Then take a break during the holidays and decompress.

S. L. Hennessy said...

Wouldn't it be nice if all of us had dreams that were financially viable? These days I've started thinking being a writer - not my best choice. Financially speaking.

Donna Hole said...

I've been wondering the same thing about my writing lately; if I should just stick to my day job and be happy with what I'm making. Its not a lot, but it is a paid living.

But, I may wonder what I'm missing with my dream of writing. Even while I'm not making any money at it, at least I'm close than if I wasn't writing. Sorta like not complaining you didn't win the lotto if you didn't buy a ticket :)

If your dream is to be a scientist, then 40 isn't too old to start. Heck I'm almost - well, older than you so never mind . .

Gotta have something to occupy your time, and writing - or being a scientist - is as good as anything else :)

.......dhole

Rose Munevar said...

Thanks for the laugh! By the way, I hit the big 40 this year too. I know what you mean about the dreams, and hey! we are not too old to keep reaching!

Serena said...

I am so stoked I found this group! This is awesome... I was once a kind of scientist in a toxicology lab. The money was o.k., not great but then I was more of a quality assurance type, so there you go. But writing and everything that goes with it is so much better. Even if I don't know what I'm doing yet.

M Pax said...

You're a young'un. There's still time. If you want to write, write. If you want to be a lab boy, do that.

I'm an amateur scientist. You could set out a telescope & proclaim yourself an astronomer. It doesn't pay well though ... it actually costs as you want more and more bling for your toy ...

Ink in the Book said...

"Dreams are what makes us better people."

Wow Alex. I live that quote!!

Ink in the Book said...

Yep. I say follow your dreams. Just think of all the ideas for writing could come from a scientist!!