Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I’d Rather Be (fill in the blank)

Writing, writing and more writing. Since I’ve discovered writing, that’s what I’d rather be doing. Even when I’m stuck on my story, I still want to write.

But there was a time when that was different.

Back in the mid 1980’s, my answer would have been “taking pictures.” Or maybe more accurately “developing pictures.” Believe it or not, I have an Associates Degree in Photography. You wouldn’t know it by this blog, since I rarely post pictures!

But back then, when I had two real little ones, I not only worked full-time, I went to school (via the GI Bill) to get my degree. And photography was what captured my interest then. I would spend hours in the darkroom, losing track of time, creating photos. I dreamed of attending the Ohio Institute of Photography (and it’s ironic I was living in NJ at the time and NOW I live near the school!). I subscribed to all the photography magazines I could find. I have many books on how to take great photos. I was obsessed.

What changed? I realized I couldn’t pursue something that took up too much of my time without making any decent money in the process. Considered a hobby, it was costly (and money was tight). So I put it on hold.

Then times changed. Film? Forget it – everything’s digital now (which is great – instant gratification and all that – but just not the same). Maybe I’ve gotten lazier? Possibly (owning a darkroom is a lot of work and I think I’m allergic – to the work, not the darkroom).

I also got older. Back then I just wore glasses for distance. Now I have tri-focals. I’ve tried using my older camera and I can’t see when the subject becomes clear (it’s all fuzzy). And my digital camera really is crap since I can’t see the screen during daylight and the battery doesn’t last very long at all (my husband is the one with the fancy camera now – which is way more complicated than any SLR I ever owned). It’s very discouraging.

Would I have gone back to photography if I hadn’t discovered writing? I don’t know. I’m a lazy person now and still don’t believe I could make any money at it. But if I ever get around to scanning in some older photos, I’ll post them on this blog for you to see.

So tell me, what would you rather be doing? If you write, but hadn’t discovered it yet – do you think you would have found something else just as gratifying?

6 comments:

KAK said...

If I didn't write, I fantasize about being a passably good musician. Unfortunately, only in an alternate universe is my piano playing better than a three-year-old's.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I played the piano and clarinet (was in the High School Band), but it wasn't anything that I was passionate about. I hated practicing.

Thanks for commenting!

Erin Kane Spock said...

It was piano, then it was costuming. I took my historical costume research, design, and construction very seriously and dedicated hours to bead work and such. While writing (also about the Elizabethan era) overlapped some with my costuming for a while, writing became dominant. So, if I wasn't writing, I'd be creating fabulous, glittering gowns.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Erin,
That's got to be quite a talent you have. I can't imagine doing that kind of work. Sewing a dress is hard enough for me, now. I used to like to sew (when the money was tight, it certainly was cheaper to make the kids clothes), but I lost interest.

Todd R. Moody said...

There are so many things I want to be when I grow up! I lead guitarist for a rock band, a pitcher for a major league baseball team, a chef, a novelist. In the eighties and nineties I would have been completely wasting my time playing video games.

I fell into my actual job, and never dreamed of being a pilot. I can't play guitar or throw very hard, so those aren't very likely. I can cook a little and I am getting better at writing. I love to write now. It is what I look forward to and the only time I don't feel like I should be doing something else. I really do plan on writing whether I ever sell anything or not. =) Great post Stacy!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks, Todd!

When I was 11, I dreamed of being an airplane pilot. My Dad took me on my first flight at the airport (called "A Day In The Sky" which cost 10 cents per pound). It was in a small plane with the wings on top (so I could see better). I fell in love. It was what I wanted to do until my mother told me I needed to know math (uh oh). But I still think it would be cool to fly.