I have come across so many different people as I follow authors on twitter and goodreads.com. I’ve been following one and read his bio on Amazon when I thought “I need to share this story on my blog.” Here in the middle of September (5 years since I walked away from my job at Corp America to work in the arts), I give you another person who made that change in life. There are many out there! Are you one? (Drop me a line if you want to share your story too.)
James J Caterino
Freelance writing. Screenwriting, fiction, online reviews and articles, and some copywriting.
How long have you been doing it?
What was your career prior to doing this?
I was a stockbroker. Very much in the old school tradition of what you saw Charlie Sheen doing in Wall Street. I loved the adrenaline and the action. But then the business changed. Everyone had to become a “banker”.
What made you decide to walk away from that?
I always wrote from a very young age. That urge, that hunger to create never goes away. And if you try to keep suppressing it you will go insane, literally! Back then it was short stories. But my obsession with movies drew me to screenwriting and in the late 90's I went about trying to master the form and looked into attending some film school classes. The brokerage business was changing and I knew it was time to take my one and only shot, so in 2002 I took the plunge and went for it.
How has your life changed since you've done it?
I can tell you I am a much better “thinker” now. It’s hard to verbalize, but if you are a creative person in any way, you know what I mean about needing to have an outlet for that expression and have something to show for it.
Any advice you have for others?
When I was a broker I was taught “ABC” meaning “Always Be Closing”. Now I say “ABC” - “Always Be Creating”.
Don’t obsess over sales or number of “fans”. If you want to make lots of money, writing is not the way to go. If you want money, get in the money business. If you want to create, then dammit just create.