Thursday, August 9, 2018

Seven Years A Writer

I received a notification this morning on Twitter, "It's your Twitter anniversary!" I've been on Twitter for seven years, and it made me think, "What is the significance of that?" Well, in my case, a little over seven years ago I admitted to myself that I was a writer. It was something I always wanted to do, but never thought it would be possible, for some unknown reason. I had previously crafted poetry, song lyrics, and attempted various scribbled stories on blank sheets of paper growing up. Then, realizing I wanted to write something of my own, something that staked my claim as a writer, happen to come after reading The Hunger Games.

Not only is it a fascinating and wonderfully written story, it led me to believe in myself to say, "That's what I want to do." So, I did. That night after work, the dream began to take shape with character names, locations, and plot points to use, cross off, or keep on hold for a later book. So, every night after work, I turned the TV on, hit the mute button, and started writing. In a month's time, I had written my first novel - a dystopian land that someone once mentioned as a cross between 1984 and The Hunger Games. This book would become part of The Weiland Kershaw Series. I self-published the first three and the fourth installment has been in the edit room for a few years. I'll call the "edit room" my version of deciding to put the long editing process on hold to focus on my kids and allow my narrowed focus to craft other delights (or at least I think so).

Over the past seven years, I have also crafted, and sometimes posted online, other tales of fiction in poetry or short story formats. I've written press releases, marketing copy, and written tons and tons of blurbs for social media. More recently, over the past two years, I've written comic and movie reviews and editorials, a featured bi-monthly series, and continue to generate and craft new ideas and stories that I keep ready to tackle when I have a spare moment. I've landed a staff position at Fanbase Press, which is where you'll find my reviews, editorials, and the Geeky Parent Guide (featured series).

After seven years, I am still striving and working constantly to reach that dream - creative writer, full-time. In my own hyper-critical thinking, my writing, my contributions, will never be enough. I always need to write more and more, despite the limited time available in this little thing we all know as life. And after seeing a notification about a Twitter anniversary, my mind starts racing, analyzing, "What have you accomplished?" and "When will you reach your dream?"

These questions are honest questions as I look back over the past seven years to think, "Have I done enough?" Perhaps I will never be satisfied with how much I create, but I know there will be an enormous sense of satisfaction that comes with the day that I can sit down at home, with my wife and two kids, and say, "I've done it. I'm a full-time writer." This Twitter reminder has allowed me to think about the things I've done, while also keep me pointed toward that significant direction. Not to say I haven't been pointed there all along - must become full-time writer *robot voice* - it is safe to say I appreciate the chance to reflect on my accomplishments, even if it means I have yet to achieve my dream.

There are plenty of moments where I can look back, and not too far, sometimes, and realize how scattered and upset I've become at times. It's not often, at least for me, to clearly summarize my feelings when I realize the scope of my dream and then teeter on the edge of restless nights trying to think of other ways I can better my craft, or wonder how much more I can do. To better summarize my thoughts or fears of failing or self-perception of my rattled professional growth, this is who I am. I do not know if achieving a full-time writer position will diminish or remove these distressing feelings. Quite honestly, I don't know if I would want them to go. Does that ever-present feeling of not doing enough allow me to craft the way that I craft? Will a writing position provide comfort and actually alleviate the stresses and make me a better writer?

I do not know.

Something I hope I can share with my kids is to never be afraid to say, "I don't know." I don't want to pretend that I have all of the answers. I want them to see me work and work and work for my goal, and hopefully, let them see the satisfaction of achieving it. Granted, I hope they can achieve whatever goal they have in mind much quicker than I'm currently yielding, but none-the-less, the sentiment will always remain the same. I do not know if I will succeed, but I have to try. I do not know if I will fail, but my kids need to see it, again and again, if needed, so they know that having a dream and pursuing it are never worthless endeavors. They are what our hearts crave, and when surrounded by people who will support those endeavors, it will make the trip much more bearable, even if it isn't always readily apparent.

Seven years a writer. I haven't achieved the dream yet. I will constantly move forward. I will constantly look forward to seeing other creators and what they're doing, hoping to see them succeed as much as I want to do the same. Reading amazing stories or seeing fantastic artwork is inspiring as it gives me hope. I see the smiles on others' faces, or joyous tone in a tweet, when they post about their recent published works, and it's a wonderful thing. That's what I want to do. That is the mindset I carry with me, and perhaps, it will always be there.