In high school I carried a composition book with me that I would write poems and “prose” in from time to time. I titled the notebook “Inspired by Boredom” because I predominantly wrote when I was bored, which means I did most of my writing while sitting through a class. And “Inspired by Boredom” soon became two and then three volumes.
Early on, there were a lot of poems in there and then, eventually some goofy short stories and a few weird doodles. In a lot of ways it was a diary of what was on my mind at the time. It was my way of dealing with that swirl of emotions that most high schoolers go through. Ultimately, the writing helped me discover who I was…it was an outlet for the thoughts and feelings that I previously did not know how to express and kept wrapped up inside. For a while, I felt as if I could not function if I was not writing and the notebooks went everywhere I did.
When I started college, writing helped me through some lonely times until I was able to get a foothold and shake free of the shyness that crippled me that first month. Eventually, some friends found me. Then I got involved with the school newspaper…and the Newman Club…and my part time job…and, well, a college life. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to write a column for the college newspaper where I could yammer on about whatever I wanted. I did other writing and eventually took over as executive editor.
Despite entries in my notebooks becoming extremely rare, I wrote more than ever and even with all my other college activities, “writer” was at the center of how I would define myself. And I always dreamed of becoming a writer, professionally. I thought for sure that one day I would become the editor of Sports Illustrated.
I want to say that I don’t know when that dream became derailed, but I am certain I know the exact moment. It would be when the director of media relations at the Baltimore Orioles called me and confirmed that I got the intern job. I don’t believe I sold out my dreams of becoming a writer to work in professional baseball and I do not regret for a moment taking that job. It was a dream in itself…A dream, in a sense, that I had always thought would be delivered, somehow, by way of my writing. I thought writing would be the horse and working for baseball was the cart.
The jobs in baseball instead showed my other things I was good at that were also creative in nature. So I did them for a while and found relative happiness in that for some time until I began to become bored of it.
Then I discovered the next thing that I was pretty good at…Being a dad. It is a role I love and cherish and, absolutely, positively anything but boring.
So, writing disappeared for a few years or was intermittent.
Eventually, I started writing again in trickles. The internet gave me an easy channel for it and life with Andrea and the boys gave me the new inspiration I needed. However, finding the time to write was still difficult.
While writing is something I truly enjoy and makes me happy, it takes a lot of energy for me. To sometimes be able to take all those thoughts in my head and to feed them out in a cohesive stream of words feels so difficult at times. I once describe the process as trying to squeeze an elephant through a funnel. I find it exhausting at times.
For a while, I wrote in this blog and I wrote about my first love, the Mets and Baseball. That mostly took a back seat to a novel I wrote (…am writing?..The first draft is done and a lot of wrote needs to go into the next draft, so using wrote in the past tense feels odd since there is a long way to go). Yet, I still don’t feel like a writer. It has been over two years since I have written anything in this blog and it has been over a year since I finished the first draft of the novel.
So, here I am, hoping to get back to writing somewhat frequently. While this is my daddy blog, I think the topics I write about will vary, greatly. I justify that they will belong here because while the subject may not be about being a daddy, being a daddy…being The Papa, is who I am first and foremost and every thought I have is through that frame of reference.
I have several thoughts in mind on writing subjects. Everything from baseball to Transformers (yes, the toys). I’ll do my best to avoid politics, although there is one particular post I have in mind which I will dive into at some point, I think. I am not sure I’ll write about religion, but I will certainly write about faith. I’ll write about the travels we have had as a family and there will certainly be a couple of big fish stories. My full time job is in IT working on an internet platform called SharePoint…and that will be the last time I write about that. I will probably write about my book, or at least the process of writing my book.
Do I think this will somehow lead to a professional writing job? Not likely, but at this point it feels like it is more important to be able to call myself a writer. I hope you will follow me on this journey and I hope you will enjoy it.
On a different subject, but having to do with writing, Andrea sent me this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda recently:
You won’t get better until you share it. People whose taste you like, whose ambitions you trust. Be choosy who you let. But once you get over that, fall in love with the DISTANCE between what you wrote and what you intended. Fall in love with revising and bridging that divide.
As I mentioned before, I finished the first draft of my novel. Going through it and fixing it scares the hell out of me…That distance between what is down on paper and what I want this book to be feels like the distance from here to the moon. Looking for the right people to help me in this process is terrifying. This is an interesting quote.