Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

5/12/10

No Choice, Really

If I weren’t writing, what would I do? I have no idea. Writing has been part of my world since I wrote my first “screenplay” with a buddy in seventh grade (a vampire thriller set in the horse barn across the street from our house). Short stories, poems, songs, essays and novels – in various genres -- have followed. During it all I have also pursued a career in mental health working with children and their families, mixed in with various other temporary gigs that include being a caretaker of a 600-acre farm and, for a few years, being the “tie-dye kingpin” of South Seattle and Fairbanks. I took these other jobs because they offered a break from the routines and stress of the mental health field but also because they afforded me more time for writing. A few years back, I chose to take a contract at a local school to work four hours a day for full-time money – again, to allow for more writing time without taking from my family time.

So, for me, I’ve already been doing the “other” stuff I’d be doing if I wasn’t writing: working to pay the bills, helping to run the house, playing with my wife and son, and sailing in the summers. I need a creative outlet to retain my own mental health, so I suppose the only real variable is the form that creativity takes. If I ever give up on writing for kids, I guess I could always try to get the old rock-n-roll band back together . . .

6 comments:

Christy said...

Mark, I thought maybe you'd be a sailor racing around islands and open seas.

You bring up a good point about balancing the practical with the creative. Seems like you have juggled it all well.

Another good point is about your compulsion to write. Clearly writing has chosen you from early days!

Still have a hankering to hear you in that rock-and-roll band revival. Let us know when you post some tunes to Youtube!

Lauren said...

It does seem writing chose you, Mark. With all that you have done and are doing to keep that choice strong, you have indeed answered the question of what you would be doing if you were not writing for children.
I agree with Christy though, I would love to hear your band-- what was the name?

Edie said...

Yes, the rock band is calling, and I envy your sailing life every summer. It's good that writing can go along with everything!

Mark said...

No plans for any YouTube releases on the near horizon.... My old songwriting partner (a wicked guitar player)and I were the core of the old band, which went by various names during our adolescence and young adulthood: Justin Torock, Solstice, Flex Your Head... Perhaps we'll wait and rejoin for a "farewell" tour in our later retirement years!

Stephanie said...

A vampire thriller! You were soooo ahead of your time:)

john said...

Tie-dye Kingpin. The title's right there. that's the story I want to know more about.