‘I almost puked at work today’ … or, ‘The anxiety attack that launched my writing career.’ One of those.

This is where the magic happens, people. And by “magic,” I mean “terrifying boredom.”

Something awesome happened this morning: I was pulling into the parking lot at my place of work, and as I did so, I spontaneously blurted out loud to no one but myself the name of the completely uninteresting, uninspiring, unexciting-to-me-in-any-way-whatsoever company for which I work … and this verbal reminder of just what it is I’ve ended up doing with my life caused me first to erupt into a sort of crazy-person laugh, and then to literally dry heave a couple of times. For a moment, I was fairly sure I was going to have to lean out of my car and vomit on the pavement.

So I’m thinking this is a pretty good sign, right? Because clearly it means that I won’t be able to do this much longer … which, in turn, means I’m getting closer to doing something with my life that doesn’t make me want to fucking vomit from the sheer banality of my existence. And that’s gotta be a step in the right direction, don’tcha think?

Actually, it’s not the job that’s the problem; it’s my inability thus far to move forward in some tangible way toward my goal of establishing a career as a creative writer, thus enabling me to no longer need a 9-to-5 cubicle job. And that’s what’s making me cackle like a crazy person and almost puke.

So here’s the deal: I am going to write a novel. Or a script. Or something. Starting today.

This decision scares the shit out of me, because I’m afraid I might discover that I suck, or that I don’t have the willpower to see it through to the end, or that no one wants to buy what I’ve written … any one of which would completely undermine what, for a very long time now, has been my somewhat-comforting but totally unfounded belief that I am talented enough to someday make a living as a creative writer.

Well, “someday” is here. Time to find out if I’ve been kidding myself.

PS: This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the blog. In fact, there’s a good chance it means I’ll be telling some stories here that I’ve been holding back. See? Everybody wins. Maybe.

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49 Comments

  1. Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Rah! It’s scary, but that means it’s most likely the right thing to do. Safe=Stagnant.

    Life is short, and precious. And it doesn’t seem to me that you’re the type to be able to be happy sitting behind a desk under florescents and working for someone else.

    Kudos. If the support of a total stranger helps, and even if it doesn’t, you’ve got mine. :) Way to listen to your gut! /grin
    Tess´s most recent blog post: Curry Pepper BBQ PorkMy Profile

  2. Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Go Daddy Go! You have a unique perspective and the ability to communicate it in a way that’s entertaining and causes me to stalk you via your blog. Can’t wait to see what you do but I’ll be cheering you on all the way! Mark one book sold or movie ticket purchased.

    • Steph
      Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Same here. Yay!

  3. Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think this is cool. Best of luck to you!
    the muskrat´s most recent blog post: how to win friends and influence people at mardi grasMy Profile

  4. Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    you can’t realize your dreams without taking the first step….that’s the hardest part. I’ll be rooting for you.
    Rilly´s most recent blog post: Signs of Spring……My Profile

  5. Wonder Woman
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    You know all your Scratches say go for it!

    (“One love, one life you got to do what you should”!)

  6. Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to read excerpts/previews here!
    red´s most recent blog post: Of Axe-Murderers and Other Creepy FolksMy Profile

  7. meggie
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    With all the Scratches and fans behind you, why WOULDN’T you try? Most of us believe you will succeed but if it turns out not to be what you hope for, at least you will know while you are young and not wonder and regret the reluctance of bravely throwing yourself into something that could truly be “MAGIC”.

    I wish you joy, success, and a journey full of delightful discovery,
    m.

  8. Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes the best decisions in life are the hardest ones to make. If you believe in your decision and feel good about making it, then whether you succeed or fail is of little importance. Best of luck to you!
    Erin @ Brownie Bites´s most recent blog post: Apple Oatmeal Homemade Dog BiscuitsMy Profile

  9. Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    As a fellow nauseated office lemming wasting away under the fluorescent lights and cheap cake birthday parties, I say do it. Don’t look back.
    Tyler´s most recent blog post: A Warning to BlakeMy Profile

  10. Ali
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Go for it! At least you know what you WANT. You could be like my husband, who wants to kill himself every morning before getting out of his car because he hates his job so much. He has no idea what he wants to do, but he is completely miserable at work. Makes it fun for all of us. Good luck with the writing!

  11. Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Are you kidding? I would buy anything you’ve written. I stalk your blog all the time to see if you’ve updated. You’re brilliant! Can’t wait to see what happens next! :)
    Pink Dog´s most recent blog post: Bippity Boppity Boo!My Profile

  12. Posted February 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    For crying out loud IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! I for one can’t wait to see what erupts from this.
    Rebekah´s most recent blog post: 11-11-11My Profile

  13. Katrina
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Yes please write something that I can buy and then brag to all my friends that I found the newest latest greatest writer that they just HAVE to read! It makes me feel superior to them.

    Seriously. Do this for me.

  14. Posted February 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m too lazy to see if anyone else suggested this, but I say go with that “Write what you know” advice and maybe pull a Dooce, write a book about your family. Basically, go through your blog and pick out your favorite entries, then rewrite them so they’re a book instead of blog entries.
    Heatherface´s most recent blog post: Wreck This Journal: In progress part VMy Profile

  15. Posted February 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    If it works for you, then I am going to follow in your footsteps. Now you are no longer doing it just for you, but for me, too. I am a painfully shy person that has been in sales for 20 years. It is a really bad fit.
    Kate´s most recent blog post: A Brief Look into our Morning RoutineMy Profile

  16. Posted February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    A couple of quotes from a good friend’s blog today:

    If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

    Life is too short to spend time with people (or jobs) who suck the happiness out of you.

    She got those quotes from yet another blog today, but they still are good quotes….even third-hand. And I totally believe them.

    Surely your employer has heard of the Creative Living Leave Act which mandates that all employers provide their workers with up to a year paid leave in the event of creative crisis and the need to explore their creative selves. O. Right. That was in that dream I had last night. It isn’t real. Never mind….

    Good luck to you with this…Creating the space for the possibility is the only way the possible can become real.

  17. Cara
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Have you heard of a book called “Quitter”? Another blogger I read (Jon Acuff) published it, and it sounds relevant to you. I haven’t read it, but it seems like something useful. (No, I have absolutely no financial incentive here, just thought you’d be interested)

  18. Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Do it. I will buy your book/whatever. I promise. You have far too much talent to NOT try!

    Remember this – the things people regret the most are the things they didn’t do.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: The NEW, the IT, the TOTALLY MUST HAVE RIGHT NOW thing (that can’t be found ANYWHERE! Not in stores, not on television and not EVEN on the internet)! Get yours TODAY!My Profile

  19. Sadie
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I say go for it! What have you got to lose? Seems like a win-win…You get to do more writing on your blog – we get to read it – then you put it all together in a book or script. I think “Everybody Loves Daddy Scratches” sounds like a great title!!!

  20. Jamie, Mom of 3
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Rather see you do what you are destined to do rather than go all Office Space on us. I would totally buy the book, as I read much better than I write. Good Luck to you, and can’t wait to see your success!

  21. kacy
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes. I will buy/read/watch anything that you write….I absolutely love reading your writing….and if you need a proof reader I am your girl. I have always wanted to figure out a way to get into proof reading because I love reading so much but have not done so.

  22. Nancy
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Excellent, power to you!

  23. Way Over Here
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I”ll buy a copy of your book! and then I’ll buy copies for all my friends, too! (or at least, the ones I like best).
    Love your stuff, been stalking for a while now….

  24. Posted February 29, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    WOO HOO!!! so freaking proud of you! can’t wait to hear about the progress and can’t wait to purchase the final product :) you’re an inspiration.

  25. Ali
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    That’s so funny that someone else mentioned proof reading. I’ve always wanted to do that for work, because I find mistakes in practically everything I read, and I love finding them. It would be nice to get paid to feel superior, lol. You really should try writing a book, just keep shopping it around until someone says yes!

  26. Posted February 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Can I pre-order my copy now? Because I will totally buy your book.

    Also, the title of this post might just be the funniest title in the history of blog posts.
    BuenoBaby´s most recent blog post: Cool DadMy Profile

    • Posted February 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      That’s pretty high praise about the title. Thanks. Glad you got a kick out of it. :)

  27. Tammy
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Go for it!!!!! I am an avid reader and story teller myself. I would love to write a book, unfortunately when I sit down to put pencil to paper, I go totally blank. Can’t remember a damn thing that has ever happened in my life. Maybe someday…….but I would buy your book! Your blog is something my 20 year old daughter and I thoroughly enjoy reading/talking about!

  28. Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Put me down for at least 5 copies. You can do this and I can’t wait to see it!
    Mere´s most recent blog post: Dancing Monkeys and Free SnowconesMy Profile

  29. Carole
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    To paraphrase Rebekah: Jesus Jon, it’s about fuckin’ time!

    Don’t sweat what the final form will be; just write. We’ll read it.
    We’ll buy the book or script or whatever it is. Even your poetry. :P
    We’ll call the mean critics ignoramuses & the kind critics geniuses.

    Putting your work out there for criticism isn’t easy (which is why I toil in the offline darkness) and I for one cheer your courage. Go you!

  30. Posted February 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh how exciting! I’m so happy for you, and (please) don’t dare abandon us. I’m in total agreement with Carole above:

    Don’t sweat what the final form will be; just write. We’ll read it.
    We’ll buy the book or script or whatever it is. Even your poetry.
    We’ll call the mean critics ignoramuses & the kind critics geniuses.

    “Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” – John Updike

    Wishing you and your family all the best…
    Angela´s most recent blog post: The Fantastic Flying Books at the OscarsMy Profile

  31. Posted February 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the supportive comments. I appreciate it. You all rock. :)

  32. Posted March 1, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I say go for it! All the best with the desired endevors!

  33. Nana Scratches
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    “Right now- Tell me what are you waiting for”

  34. Catherine McP
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    When I first starting reading your blog, I wondered why you hadn’t written a book already! you go Daddy!

  35. Posted March 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I hear ya. For most of my adult life I’ve been riding that line between wanting desperately to be a writer and wanting desperately NOT to pursue it for fear of spectacular failure. Which is almost as scary as actual success. Yes, I am a basket case. And I work in a cubicle.

    Congratulations to you for breaking through the fear and just freaking doing it! Looking forward to reading the finished product.
    Sweet Sassyfats´s most recent blog post: I DO Believe In Spooks!My Profile

  36. Posted March 5, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Zman your wit and writing style is a hit with anyone who takes the time to read your stories. Good Luck!
    EJB´s most recent blog post: Tactical BaconMy Profile

    • Posted March 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Eric. I appreciate it. Flattered you still read my ramblings!

      • Posted March 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Of course I do! I have a sense of humor.

  37. Posted March 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Good luck! And just keep plugging…no doubt you’ll hit the big time!
    Susan Says…´s most recent blog post: Abandoned at CostcoMy Profile

  38. Kristin
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes….please write a book! Have you ever done Nanowrimo? You could pretend it’s November & write a 50K novel in March. Then you can expand, edit, whatever, & send it off to a publisher. Ok, it could be a BIT harder than that.

  39. Catherine
    Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    You are a very talented writer! I have passed daddyscratches on to many people of varying ages…you have new followers! They think you are hysterical, deep, truthful, witty and possibly have a bug in their head. Go for it!! You have support from WW and everyone here.

  40. Noah
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    This is inspiring! Good luck and can’t wait to see what unfolds…

  41. Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Do it! Write it!

  42. Posted March 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    You’ll be great. I think you should write aBout Van Halen.
    the Domestic Goddess´s most recent blog post: The Epitome of Domestic EngineersMy Profile

  43. Posted March 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    GO FOR IT!! I would totally buy what you’ve written ;)

  44. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I have been reading your blog for some time, and I gotta say you have such a great voice, such an emotion-evoking perspective. I don’t think I’ve ready any post of yours that didn’t have me laughing out loud or nearly crying with either laughter or parental understanding. I myself have been holding back on my own writing, but you inspire me because even here with what you consider just a blog, you really open up your world to others in a very visceral, human way that is just fanfuckingtastic. love it. kudos to you. write on!

  45. Frubs
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “This decision scares the shit out of me, because I’m afraid I might discover that I suck, or that I don’t have the willpower to see it through to the end, or that no one wants to buy what I’ve written … any one of which would completely undermine what, for a very long time now, has been my somewhat-comforting but totally unfounded belief that I am talented enough to someday make a living as a creative writer.”

    The above points don’t preclude the latter points (if you see what I mean). If you discover that you suck, that you don’t have enough willpower to see it through to the end, or no one wants to buy what you’ve written, it doesn’t mean you’re not talented enough to make a living as a creative writer. It just means you aren’t *yet*.

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