Lewis Quartey @lewisquartey: realised I have no idea what Im working towards with my life. What r you ultimately working towards & how did you figure it out?
I want to make a comic book. When I was five years old I read a comic of “The Legion of Super Heroes” that had everything from Superboy, to the Greek god Apollo, to time travel to superheroes from other planets who were, god forbid, in love with each other (inter-alien relationships!). It was like an entire universe of possibility opened up to me. I could make a story that could be…could be…about…ANYTHING! What the…! I wanted to read it, do it, draw it, write it, eat it, shit it, talk about it.
I bought so many comic books I filled up two closets worth. Big ones small ones. Archie Digest, Shazam Annual, Classics Illustrated, Amar Chitra Katha (from my Indian friends down the street), Dr. Strange, Batman, on and on and on. And it never stopped.
Then, when I was thrown out of graduate school I started up again (I had taken a five year break from freshman year of college until i was about a year out of graduate school). This time I read all the adult-oriented comics from Watchmen to Eightball to Peep Show, Yummy Fur, R. Crumb, Harvey Pekar, Julie Doucet, Peter Bagge (Hate Comics!). I ran into Peter Bagge at the Aspen Comedy Festival many years later and I told him I was his biggest fan. He actually started crying! The author of Hate Comics! What the..? He said, “I’m sorry, there’s too much happening here.” And I left him alone.
In 1992 I applied for a job at a comic book store. The one I shopped in almost every day. Without me as a customer I was pretty sure they were going to go out of business. The guy didn’t know how to answer because he didn’t want to lose his best customer. Not only did I shop there but I got all my friends to shop there (Peep Show and Eightball were our favorites). He said, “I’m sorry, we just don’t have the money for that.” And then he had to explain further. “Comic book stores are not really a good way to make a living. We sort of do it for the love of it.” And now I felt bad for even asking for the job.
I loved the Sandman comics by Neal Gaiman. “The Sandman” was really this god-like character, Dream, that came from a family of other godlike characters: Death, Destiny, Desire, Despair, etc. You get it. Gaiman is excellent at creating modern mythologies interwoven with ancient ones. I wanted to write like him.
So I did. I read everything he had written in comics. Plus everything his mentor, Alan Moore (think: “Watchmen” but even better: “A Small Killing”) had written. Their style was very different from average comic book writers. I wrote something I felt was very much in their style. It was titled “Delirium” and it would be an offshoot series based on Dream’s sister, Delirium. I sent it to Lou Stathis at DC. I never really heard back although years later I had to deal with Lou over a different issue when I was at HBO (I had interviewed the founder of Juggs magazine and used an image from a comic he had edited).
What does this have to do with anything?
I want to write a comic book!
Oh, and I also can’t figure out what the hell am I doing with this blog. I write what’s on my mind. And it sort of goes in the direction I go. I’ve been pretty miserable throughout most of my life. But now I’m not. I write about why and how and what and even when (NOW!) . And I want this blog to get really popular and I want to do videos and radio shows and books and speaking tours based on the ideas of this blog.
Oh! I forget: I also want to start a company. In fact, I’ve started a few. Like I usually do. And some of them will fail. And maybe one of them will work out. In fact, I’m sure one of them will. I don’t even have to think about it. One of them will. Just because I say so.
Let me see…I also have this idea for a series of young adult novels. Young adult fantasy seems to be the rage. I’ve loved fantasy novels since I was a kid also. but usually they weren’t based on young adults. Now I’m seeing more and more Harry Potter-ish fantasy novels involving kids. Here’s my idea. A teenage girl, say 14 years old, is having the usual set of teenage girl high school issues (puberty, boys, grades, cliques). And, by the way, her father is Satan. Which is, of course, a source of continual embarassment and frustration for our heroine, who is basically a good person and just wants to be kissed. Like it? The series can follow her all through college, all through her job. Meanwhile, while she’s dealing with gossip from the cliques, a rogue assortment of bitter fallen angels are after her.
Anyway, I want to write that.
I’ve done lots of things that before-hand I wanted to do. I wanted to be a venture capitalist. For me, personally, it was awful. You spend half your time holding the hands of companies that are failing. Those people are miserable. You spend another half looking at boring companies (the chart that always starts at $0 revenues on the left but, trust me, “we’re going to be 1% of a 5 trillion dollar market in three years and there’s no competition”). Then you spend the other half working over contracts to make sure you can do the maximum screwing in worst-case scenarios. Screw or be screwed. I know that’s three halves. The fun happens when the market goes up and you start to exit. But guess what. Big deal. No matter what area of the financial industry you are in, the fun happens when the market goes up.
I’ve also run a hedge funds. Run a fund of hedge funds. Started companies. Done a TV pilot. None of it was that fun. None of it was great. And even this blog is sometimes stressful because I pressure myself a lot to put out the best material I can.
So what do I want to do? I don’t know. I guess some of the above.
But I know I can’t think about it. I can’t wonder about it. I am going to do NOTHING. Today I’m going to stay healthy. I’m going to eat right, sleep well, be around positive people, keep generating ideas every day, and practice being grateful, practice surrendering to my situation no matter what it is, good or bad, and then I know what I’m going to do then. I know what I’m going to do. But I won’t know until I get there.