I met Jason in college. He spent his days squirrelled away in the back room of our newspaper office, a dark, windowless basement that reeked of ink and old takeout and stale beer. He sat back in this tiny little cubbyhole with another guy named Jason, and they drew and inked and yelled at each other and were funny and brilliant and AROUND ALL THE TIME.
He and I have been on a simliar wavelength this year. I’ve been at work on a book project, off and on, for five years, and finally quit my full-time writing job to write the book full-time, a crazy and wrenching and rewarding decision. Jason’s been drawing comics for years, and this year finally said screw it, I’m getting a book done. And did it.
People sometimes ask me about writing and I always tell them you can teach somebody just about anything except how to want it bad enough to make yourself do it. You can teach spelling and grammar and mechanics and you can even teach voice and observation, but you can’t teach somebody to have to do this or spend your life longing for it. That kind of force of will is either there, or it isn’t, and it’s got nothing to do with inspiration and muses and everything to do with hard fucking work.
Congratulations to Jason, who worked really fucking hard, and is now selling his book on this very Internet. Go pick up a copy and think about what you’d do if you did what you really wanted to do with your life.