The title says it all.
I’ve been writing this blog for an entire year and, frankly, it’s been a blast. I thrive and function with discipline and this blog added another layer of discipline to my life. It is a constant deadline that I need to be aware of.
When I started it, I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be or what purpose it would serve. I modeled it after John Scalzi’s Whatever and I think the influence is readily apparent. I loved that fact that Scalzi had somewhere to write anything. I’m a big fan of his blog and I really wanted a place where I could write down the things that I don’t have room for elsewhere.
Stories and articles have specific purposes and places. My random thoughts didn’t and this site was a means to exercise a different type of writing. It’s freeform and simple. It’s also sometimes complex and rigid.
At its most helpful, this blog has allowed me to work through my own thoughts on writing and life. I’ve found a space here that I’ve never found anywhere else and I think that is significant for someone who is looking to learn and improve their craft. Also, it’s fun. I like that I had the opportunity to write an album review. I’ve never done that and will probably never do it in a magazine or website. It’s not my niche, but I could break out here and try it.
Beyond the obvious benefits, I’ve also found that this blog marks a commitment that I made to myself. In July 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to interview one of my favorite writers. I spoke with him for over an hour and talked about a ton of different topics. However, one thing stuck with me.
He wasn’t anything more than human. He was a guy who had a day job and had to write around the time that he was living with his family. Despite having a ton of well received work, he wasn’t living in a mansion. He was normal.
After talking with him, something clicked. I could do this. I could be a writer. After that, I launched the blog. I started writing 250-500 words a night and in a year I found myself taking the first steps in that journey.
There’s so many nuances to that story. I’ve had failures and success. I’ve found myself completely frustrated and angry with my writing. There have been times when I wanted to give up and I’ve expressed those moments on this site.
With all the frustration and doubt, I’ve also found a sense of self embedded in the writing. No. I am not the words I put on the page. But I am very invested in them and I care about creation. I am elated that I have the opportunity to make up stories and then have someone read those words and enjoy them. I have so much gratitude when it comes to the people that choose to publish my stuff.
And the journey is far from started. This year I had the wonderful opportunity to be taken on as a staff writer for a horror website. I’ve been published in non-fiction and fiction markets. I even doubled-down on my own faith in myself and joined the Horror Writers Association. I’ve got more coming this next year and I’m excited for all of it.
So, yeah. We did it. Mission accomplished, I guess.
Also. One more thing.
After one year, I want to make sure that I make a statement. I know that I’ve written this in the site on nearly every post, but I think it is hugely important to reiterate now.
You need to take a chance on yourself. It doesn’t matter how scary or insane or hard it seems. You have to stand up to your doubt and prove to yourself that you can be more.
I lived a lot of my life in fear. I was afraid of being judged or not being good enough or failing. And that type of life is easy to live. You can hide forever and it will be easier. But I truly believe that you can find fulfillment when you stand toe-to-toe with your fears and anxieties and demand control.
If I can start a blog and write stories and do all the things I do, you can pursue your passion. It may not make you millions of dollars, but it will make you happy. And that’s a better pay off anyway.
If you’ve been reading, thank you.
Here’s to a year.