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It started as a small dilemma, but has grown into a bit of an existential crisis. That probably sounds like a bit of hyperbole, and that's fair. But seriously, I ask you: which business card should I give you?
I have a really cool, challenging, and engaging position during the day. It even has a cool title that I'm pretty proud of-- Vice President. When its not a club that you invent with our kids, being a Vice President is a nice distinction. And it says it right on this little 2X3 piece of poster board! I'm the VP.
Like a boss.
But being a VP at an onshore firm isn't the only thing I do. I'm also really, deeply proud of this novel I've written and that Capscovil published. I've known Dexter Maxwell longer than I've known my own kids, and I'm relieved that other people finally get to meet him and his friends.
Being an author also comes with a card. It says I'm a Writer and Technologist, which is true, and general enough to cover just about any activity I might do. Which is nice. It also has the cover of my book on the back. So its not just my business card, its also an advertisement. I'm not as conflicted about this as I used to be.
So, I sit next to you on the plane. We get to talking. You ask me what I do.
What do I say? How can I explain? Which card do I give?
There is considerable pressure, from the moment we are children, to define "what we want to be when we grow up." And usually, its one thing. A doctor. OR a lawyer. OR a football player. Or a Laker.
I always answered that question with "I want to be a writer." When I was a kid, this meant writing books, usually with spaceships or dragons in them. But, the first opportunity I had to be a published writer was in the technology field. And that's pretty cool-- I've enjoyed explaining complex things in my Oracle Press books. But there was always that voice in the back of my head, from when I was kid, whispering, "that's all find and good, but there are no spaceships in it. Or dragons."
Here's the thing: as I've grown, and life happened, I've come to the realization that I don't want to only be one thing. I like doing lots of things.
I am a VP of Technical Business Solutions. AND I'm the novelist who writes The Last Iteration Series. AND I am the author of Oracle technology books.
AND I just wrote a management non-fiction book. AND I'm going on the lecture circuit again.
Not to mention: father, husband, friend. See what I mean when I say "existential crisis?" It's not just about which business card I give you (Which I still can't figure out).
But here's what I do know:
Don't let anyone tell you that you only ever can do one thing.
And maybe someday I'll write a book with spaceships AND dragons.