I’m pretty much offline until Monday, doing some Scout-related stuff. During down time, I intend to continue reading STEVE GERBER: CONVERSATIONS, edited and compiled by Jason Sacks, Eric Hoffman, and Dr. Dominick Grace. This was easily my most anticipated book of 2019, and so far, it hasn’t disappointed. Admittedly, it’s for a specialized audience — fans of Gerber, fans of Bronze Age comics, comic historians and academics, and writers who are interested in learning more about one of the best who ever walked among us — but if you’re among that audience, it’s fantastic and I highly recommend it. Click here for paperback and Kindle.
I had a few beers with my ex-wife last night, as we do about once per month, and we got to talking about the hard-to-believe fact that our eleven year old has roughly six and a half years of school left before he heads off to college, and what each of us intend to do after that. My plan is simple — I’m moving to West Virginia, deep in the mountains, where I can live comfortably on a writer’s income (property taxes range about $200 a year for the area I’m settling in), and spend my golden years not being bothered by people. “Writers don’t retire, we just die…” as Warren Ellis once said on a coffee mug. And I won’t retire either. But if I have to keep writing, I can at least do it in a place where I’m comfortable and a situation where I’m happy.
Our conversation then led to our son, and the possibility that he’ll seek a career in the arts. Both of us see that he has the inclination and the interest. And both of us are cautious of this because we both know all-too-well that it is not an easy life for the artist or anyone else they let into their life. And then, my ex-wife said something so profound that I decided I needed to compose this Blog entry around it. She said that when we were kids, our parents told us we could be anything, and we could do anything. But maybe what we need to instill in our child is that while he can be anything and can do anything, he can’t be it all at once or do it all at once.
I think that’s a good lesson for young artists. You can do anything. But you can’t do it all at once. Set your goals, but focus on your targets. When I’m shooting at targets in the backyard, I don’t spray bullets haphazardly in all directions at once. That’s the sort of stupid behavior that gives good, responsible gun owners a bad name (along with a number of other idiotic behaviors, but that’s a whole different essay and you can click here to read it).
No, when I’m target shooting, I focus on one target at a time. I don’t always hit the bulls-eye, but I do more often than not.
Set your goals, but focus on your individual targets in a way that will help you achieve those goals. If your goal is to write a novel, your target can be as simple as one page per day. And you can move that target as you see fit.