It's YOUR Fault.

If you are not what you want to be, it's your fault. Everything else you, I or anyone else can say about it is pathetic, boring bullshit. It's not your wife's or husband's fault. It's not your kids' fault. It's not your parents' fault. It's not a lack of opportunity's fault. It's not your current job's fault.

It's your fault.

"But there's not enough time..." Bullshit. 
"But I don't know how..." Bullshit.
"But..." BULLSHIT. 

A case study:

I left college after one and a half semesters to go build websites in the dot com boom. I taught myself how to use Photoshop and write HTML, then eventually Javascript and Java. No one handed me any books and said "You'd be good at this." I got interested, I studied and researched and learned on my own, and then I went and got a career. I worked for some of the most forward thinking foundational companies in the early days of the dot com boom, and helped pave the way for all kinds of neat things.

Six years ago today, I turned in my notice to my full time job at the time. I was writing software for a medical training and education company. It was a nice job and I liked my boss and the people I worked with. But it wasn't what I wanted anymore. I didn't give a two week notice, it was simply a notice that, once I finished everything that was on my todo list, I was going to leave the company and pursue my dream of being an author. It took until November of that year, but I did indeed leave to tour the nation in my pickup truck to support my new book.

By the time I'd turned in that notice, I already had a book written. I was working on getting it laid out and ready for print. I didn't have a publisher. I didn't need one -- I already had several thousand people who committed to buy my book, because I'd been writing it online and having them edit and vote on which stories would make it into the book for the past four years.

I left that job on very friendly terms. It was very scary. But I did it. And the way I did it was by realizing in 2002 that my aspirations of being an author rode on ACTUALLY BEING A FUCKING AUTHOR. No publisher asked me to do it. I didn't wait for an engraved invite to sit down and write the Great American Novel. I found the time to write while working and consulting on the side for extra income.

Over time, I went back to work here and there for clients that needed my help. Eventually I took a full-time job at Fark.com because it was one of my favorite websites, and I'd just finished a stint as the producer of a web-based video series based on news from the site. I started that show and sold it to Turner Broadcasting for their SuperDeluxe network without anyone asking me to -- I just went to Drew, said "Hey, here's a great idea -- I'll pay for it if you let me use your site for material." Then I went to Turner and said "here's a great show, pay me."

I started that project because I realized that my aspirations of being a writer for video rode on ACTUALLY WRITING FOR VIDEO. No one gave me a wad of cash or begged me to try it out, thinking I'd be good at it. I took it upon myself to shoot a pilot, get the nod from Drew, and sell the show to Turner. It turned out that I hated doing that job, so I gave the show to the crew that was working on it, wrote off my losses, and went back to consulting and writing my 2nd book. Eventually Drew asked me to work for him -- and that was a bit of a pipe dream in and of itself. But I'd proven to him I'd do the job to the best of my ability. He didn't call everyone he knew and beg them to work for him, he just saw my work and decided to bring me on.

I left Fark a few months ago to follow some new dreams. These days, I'm pretty much professionally curious. I write columns for CNN and Huffington Post while blogging and writing books. I also belong to a fantastic art and animation studio, Studio Revolver. I get to be around art all day long. I consult for some clients who need my help. I get to work with some extremely cool companies and do some extremely cool things with emerging internet tech and extremely talented artists, and I get to do it all on my own terms.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My family wasn't connected anywhere. I knew no one in any industry I ever started working in -- All I knew is that I wanted to be something, so I went out and became it. This isn't patting myself on the back. Far from it, in fact. I'm not special. I'm not hyper-intelligent. I'm not immaculately talented. I simply possess the understanding that books don't write themselves. Websites don't code themselves. Shows don't shoot themselves. Careers don't build themselves. If I can do this, you can do this.

So, you say you want to be a writer. How many words did you write today? It doesn't matter what the fuck else you have to do today -- you have to write to be a writer. Same goes for drawing comics -- you can't draw comics without drawing. You can't be a musician without playing music.

Step one to being what you want to be -- shut the fuck up and do it. You can't be anything if you don't do anything. So do something.