“Who was your favorite cartoon character as a kid?”
My therapist asked me this a few years ago. At the time, I was in a mental space where I really didn’t know who I was, or who I wanted to be. I’d changed so much in the previous few months—quit corporate work, started my own business, wanted to be a dad but couldn’t seem to get there, started seeing my photography business as an actual artistic endeavor, etc.
Life was changing quickly. I was too, faster than I could process it all.
The question didn’t take me long to answer: Linus from the Peanuts cartoon. It was the reason behind the question that perplexed me. What would the answer to that question possibly tell me about myself? And what insight could it give me about my current state of missing identity?
Of course, as any good counselor, she didn’t stop at that one question. Rather, she followed it up with a series of questions: Why Linus? Why did he stand out to you? What do you remember about him? Why did you connect to his character?
And it was there I found what made Linus so appealing to me.
The kid was a dreamer—a creator of his own dreams, not the visions of others. And he was a believer. Look at It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. How many times did his fellow Peanuts friends discourage him from trying to believe in The Great Pumpkin, and yet none of it worked. Even in the end—after spending a night in the pumpkin patch and never seeing The Great Pumpkin—he made sure Charlie Brown knew his hope was still alive:
Just wait till next year, Charlie Brown. You’ll see! Next year at this same time, I’ll find a pumpkin patch that is *real* sincere and I’ll sit in that pumpkin patch until the Great Pumpkin appears. He’ll rise out of that pumpkin patch and he’ll fly through the air with his bag of toys. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I’ll be waiting for him! I’ll be there! I’ll be sitting there in that pumpkin patch… and I’ll see the Great Pumpkin. Just wait and see, Charlie Brown. I’ll see that Great Pumpkin. I’ll SEE the Great Pumpkin! Just you wait, Charlie Brown. The Great Pumpkin will appear, and I’ll be waiting for him…
I love his hutzpah!
And I guess I did as a kid too. I just never really thought about it until I was 36, sitting on a therapist’s couch.
So what’s the point of all this? What’s it have to do with content marketing?
I strongly believe that this business—Keyhole Marketing—became more than a hobby in that moment. In that short dialogue with my therapist, I started to discover—or rediscover—myself. I found what was important to me, and what I wanted to impress upon others in my writing and in my career.
That’s where I found my writing voice.
In a future blog, we’ll discuss why it’s important to find your writing voice and how to find it. In the meantime, ask yourself: Who was your favorite cartoon character as a kid? And why?