Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I grow up I want to feed the monster

I’m one of those people who has always been obsessed with the question of what I’m going to do when I grow up. It’s a question I’m still asking myself at 37 after 15 years in the workforce (it’s called that because I’m forced to work).

And its frankly depressing that I am still asking that question. I had hoped to be freakin’ fulfilled now, career-wise, leading a purpose-driven life full of meaningful sweeps of the hand and clear-eyed visions of a better tomorrow. But I’m not.

This is why I’ve returned to writing, something that I’ve vacillated to and from over the years.

  • Writing is the answer!
  • But no, it’ll never work, you’re not good enough and no one reads novels anyway!
  • Dayjob is the answer! Dayjob is solid and dependable and really quite interesting when you come down to it!
  • No, it isn’t! Dayjob sucks! Dayjob will never make you happy! You don’t care enough about the kind of things Dayjob needs you to care about!
  • Writing! Writing is the answer!
I’ve reached this point in my life where I’ve realised that writing is the answer even if I’m not good enough and even if no one reads novels or whatever the hell I’m going to write. I just don’t have any other option of a satisfying way to fill every goddamn ticking day (apart from intercourse and pasta salads, of course. But those take, what? Twelve? Fourteen minutes?).

I had a what-I-want-to-do-when-I grow-up moment about 10 years ago when I saw a documentary about the making of the sitcom Roseanne (which was really pretty funny and maintained some strong character arcs). It was called Feeding the Monster and was about the awesome difficulty of consistently bringing teh funny week-in week-out for seven seasons or whatever. This room full of (mostly) men eating pizza and writing funny scripts to a fearsome deadline had tremendous appeal to me.

So why aren’t I doing it? (And why do I eat pizza so rarely?). See above I guess.

Anyway, as I sat in a meeting in Dayjob this morning, full of people full of a passion that I can’t find it in myself to share, and as I doodled ideas for something I’m working on (good ideas too!), I was struck again by the aptness of this metaphor.

When I grow up I want to feed the monster. But the growing up and the feeding begin right now.

Because when it comes down to it, don’t we all have a monster within us? A dark cave-dwelling beast with fangs and poor hygiene that must be tossed scraps of metaphorical rotting meat to prevent it from tearing your (metaphorical) head off? (Or at least, I have a monster. You might have a kitten or an alpaca or something. But they still need to eat, right?)

4 comments:

Not Drowning Mother said...

For godsake, feed that monster. Don't let it starve or even let it go "a little bit hungry". That monster needs pizza and it needs it now, and if you don't eat pizza that often, all the more for the monster.

Good luck with your new blog venture - I will make sure I drop by again.

hazelblackberry said...

Crumbedprawn? Rawprawn, more like.

Ha ha! Word veri is slysubc.

hazelblackberry said...

But, you know, good luck. And don't forget to let me read something.

Maybe Melody said...

Y'know, if you combined the intercourse with the pasta salad, you'd save yourself 14 minutes, which you could use later in the day to do some writing.

Or to make more pasta salad.