In my life, I have aspired too many forms of creativity. In high school, I wanted nothing more than to be either a guitar god or an airbrush artist. I bought a guitar, purchasing Guitar Magazine every month and learning songs as they struck me. Okay, in reality, I never got past the intros. Figuring out the rest of any song was always out of my reach–not to mention actually playing in time. In my early twenties, I swindled my way into a Badger airbrush just like I used in high school art class. I fumbled my way into a few pieces of artwork–artwork used loosely. In creating any sort of visual art, whether a painting or drawing, I suffer from easy discouragement. If it doesn’t look like how I think it should–there is a chance it will linger and fade from artistic urgency.
Sometime in my early twenties, I decided I wanted to draw comics a fascination which lasted a few years. I drew a few good characters, however, that too would not last. The one page I drew for a story idea featured a protagonist who stood a little taller than a Lamborghini Countach. Scale was a thing apparently. Now days writing the stories holds more interest to me than trying to use my dumb hands to manhandle lines and shapes into some coherent visual story.
After I found out how easy web sites were to make, I went to school for web design and graphics. I took way too long going at it–around ten years–and took way too many classes while going through bouts of indecision. I graduated from Washington State University in 2011 with around twelve thousand dollars in student loans (not horrible, but still more than I had wanted), a 3.2–ish grade point, and a B.A. of which I have hardly ever used and never display. Although, I won’t throw that piece of paper away, For whatever reason I still keep it. As I was nearing the end of school, things changed for web design. With the increasing prevalence of phones and tablets, larger screens were being used less, I started hating to make websites. You create it once and then recreate the same site for different hardware and then make for yet again for more hardware, ad nauseam. This was way too many repetitions of the same thing for my taste. And let’s not mention the deluge of browsers, each with a special need for attention. Somewhere along the line, I found creating websites had lost much of the initial appeal, even before dealing with the freelance world and people that had little money dedicate for a site and still wanted digital wonders.
Somewhere before graduation and disillusionment with websites I had been listening to On Writing by Stephen King for the third or fourth time and finally kicked myself in the butt. No more “I’ll start writing when I complete this video game” or “I really want to be a writer but I’ll start tomorrow.” I made myself start write after I got home from work. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write–some story about a guy whose girlfriend commits suicide–but not how to get there beyond the obvious park your ass and tap the keys. So butt in chair, hands on keyboard, damn the torpedoes–full steam ahead.
Well, not full steam, but I was writing.
And here I am–still writing. I shy away from the “wannabe writer” title as it seems a little too pessimistic, a little defeatist to me. I am a writer! And with the state of today’s world, I can easily be a published writer. Not from one of the publishing houses mind you, but self-publishing has become a viable professional outlet. So I spend time before work every day putting down words with the goal of at least five hundred –seventeen hundred in November–with a varying level of success.
It depends on the morning.
I never finished that first story, but fully intend to return to it one day if for no other reason than to have a nostalgic (or cringing) peak at how I started.
And look at me–I am a writer dammit!