The unlikely writer

I’ve been writing since I was five years old. For those of you doing the math, that means I’ve been writing for 21 years. The only thing I’ve done longer than that is play computer games. And basic biological functions, like eat, breathe, drink, poop, and all of that stuff. Note the comma after drink. I’m a slacker, not a barbarian.

As I was saying, I’ve been writing for 21 years. During that time I’ve seen my writing transform in more ways than I can count. Some of those ways were predictable. For one, I’ve gotten (somewhat) better at writing coherent sentences. I’ve also improved my grammar and picked up a few new words along the way. Above all else though, I’ve become comfortable with almost all forms of writing.

The earliest piece I can remember writing is a story about an unlikely hero on a quest to save a princess. He overcame the odds, which were certainly stacked against him, and saved her from the dragon’s clutches. It was approximately ten pages, hand-written in large blocky letters. Never before during my five years of existence had I ever felt so proud; I had created my first story.

It seems highly unbelievable that I realized what I wanted to do with my life at age five, but I had – I just didn’t know it yet. Years later, in college, I was unsure of what to major in but needed to settle down and stop changing my focus. Suddenly it dawned on me: John, quit being an idiot and study writing. And so I made my choice to be an English major with a focus in creative writing. It only took me an entire year and three changes to my major.

Four years later and I was rapidly approaching the finish line. My degree was a mere week away, as was my bright and wonderful future as a… writer? What do you even do with an English degree? I didn’t want to teach, and I definitely didn’t want to work at Starbucks. Surely businesses would want someone that can write. Right?

After nearly two years of odd jobs and freelance writing gigs, I finally found a full-time, salaried copywriting position. I would finally be at a desk – something I always dreamed of for some odd reason – and I would be writing for a living, five days a week. To top it all off I still had my previous freelance job!

Several months into my copywriting career, my now fiancée convinced me to finally pursue my dream of starting my own website. I was still writing full-time but had quite a bit of free time due to my old freelance job fading into obscurity, as well as a short-lived position after that. This free time proved quite useful in the beginning too. I was writing at least one article a week, some weeks even two or three, and I was having a blast. More importantly, I felt my creative mind was getting a much-needed workout. Sadly, as you can all attest to, this hasn’t lasted.

It’s no secret that my writing has, to put it lightly, tapered off. I was hanging in there for a while, writing an article a week. Then one every two weeks. It’s now been over a month since my last piece on here. A full month and then some. That’s more than a lunar cycle. That’s enough time to watch Lost approximately eleven times. To put it not so lightly: I have failed myself, my website, and all of you.

So what happened? I promise you I can still write. I still do it five days a week at a desk. I still do it on here, albeit not enough. I am still capable of writing emails and sending text messages. In the end I think it boils down to me underestimating just how much it would take out of me to write for a living, and then try to write for myself.

Having come to this realization, I am going to make a much stronger effort at writing on here more often. I know I’ve promised this before, so I’m not going to make a promise this time. Just take my word for it. I’ll be lucky if I even have a handful of the readers I used to, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to throw in the towel. It seems only fitting that I struggle during my journey, but just as the unlikely hero in my story fought against all odds 21 years ago, so shall I. While life may vary a bit from fantasy, I have a feeling things will turn out just fine.

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