Caveat – I’m reading Jennifer Weiner’s memoire, which is wonderfully written, sad, hilarious, and inspiring. This post will be different than those I’ve previously written, and will likely lead to similar posts moving forward. I’ll continue to also write about tips and tools and such, but I this post will introduce something new. I’m not sure if anyone is reading any of this, but if you are, I hope you continue.
I’ve thought of myself as a writer for as long as I can remember. In 4th grade I wrote and illustrated a story that was pretty much a rip off of The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, replacing the name Ichabod Crane with that of a boy in my class. At nine, I already had big dreams of spending my life as a writer.
My father earned an undergraduate degree in math from UCLA back in the 1960s. When I was in high school, he had the strange idea that I should follow in his footsteps. Again, I wanted to be a writer, but he repeatedly told me that I wouldn’t make any money at it. I think he had visions of me starving to death. Thankfully, during my senior year in high school, my math teacher, Ms. Vaughan told him, in kind, but clear terms, that math wasn’t my thing, while my English teacher, Mrs. Riddle, told him to let me write.
When I started in community college I was a radio / television / film major, but mostly took general education courses, including at least two creative writing courses with the plan to transfer to a four-year school. When I eventually did (that’s a whole different story), I went in majoring in English with a minor in journalism. I had a “slice-of-life” column with the campus paper when a classmate in an American Literature course was car-jacked right off campus and I got the opportunity to write the article for the paper. A few weeks later I flipped my plans and became a journalism major. I worked for a tiny entertainment paper for a few months after graduation and then moved from Los Angeles to Canada to be with my now wife.
While waiting for my residency papers, I had many months with pretty much nothing to do, but write. I didn’t. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. Maybe I figured I had nothing, but time. I eventually did an education degree to teach and then a Masters in Education, which led to me advising instructors on the design of their courses first at a technical college and then a university.
I’ve never stopped being a story teller, whether as a journalist, blogger, teacher, or parent. Story telling is at the heart of who I am. I think it’s incredibly important that we tell our stories. They explain so much about the journey we’ve each been on and how we’ve gotten to where we are now. Telling them not only shares this with others, but gives us the opportunity to reflect on what the stories really mean to us.
I’ve written a lot on this blog already about things I’ve done to make me a “better me”, but I’ve been missing the opportunity to share my stories (non-fiction), to reflect on them in a new way, and to exercise a passion that I’ve neglected for too long.