I like to say that when I became a father I gained the right to tell stupid jokes and to repeat the same old stories time and time again. That is not really a good excuse or suitable beard for saying again that I have been blogging since before Noah built that little boat of his. This blog is a part of who I am and has done more for me than I can properly express. It reminded me about what I really want to do with my life…write.
If you asked me to list the things that I love and need writing would be up around the top of the list. Writing is what I do. I am not exaggerating when I say that words are my tears and my laughter. I don’t say that there is a fire in my belly for effect or to be melodramatic. It is the truth. I am a very intense person. Ask those who have had a relationship with me and they will tell you that the fire burns too brightly for some. They’ll tell you that I can wear you out and that I can drown you in passion. I can have the opposite effect upon you as well.
But isn’t that the case with so many people. Our strengths are also our weaknesses. I make no apologies and ask for no forgiveness for these things. I am who I am and that is ok with me. The man in the mirror is many things, not all good but not all bad either.
For the first five years of blogging I spent the majority of my time living in my own private blogosphere. I guarded my identity fiercely and was cautious about interacting with other bloggers. Over time that has changed somewhat and I have opened up my world a bit. I suppose that you could say that turning 40 made me look at life more critically. Or maybe it was the fact that three of my contemporaries died that year. Four children lost their mothers. Six parents lost daughters and a son. Husbands lost their wives and siblings lost a brother/sisters.
It was enough of a wake-up call to make me admit that I was thoroughly unsatisfied with life. While there were many good things that I was very happy with there were others that were not good. Things that dragged me down and left me feeling less than fulfilled. So I made a number of decisions and put several plans in motion. One of the central goals was to try and become a professional writer. In the decades since I graduated from college I have had moments in time where I worked as a writer, but I never earned enough to support a family.
Consequently I took positions that provided the kind of income I was interested in earning. Some of those positions made me very happy. I enjoyed the work and the people I worked with. But nothing stays the same and over time I found myself searching for something that would be better suited for me.
So during the past 18 months or so I have successfully taken steps to make these changes into more than pipe dreams. I am pleased to say that I have made progress. I have been working a freelance writer for more than a year now. My work has appeared in publications that you know as well as others that you might not. Slowly but surely I have been building a portfolio and a network.
With some more hard work and some luck I’ll find the writing position that I am looking for. In the interim I am continuing to do what I can to improve my writing and to try and increase my exposure to potential employers and opportunities. That is part of why I started wearing The Red Dress. It is not just because I have the shoulders to rock that sucker or because when I wear heels I am damn sexy. Rather it was with the intent to join a community of writers. The Red Dress Club describes themselves as The Write Women but I can tell you from experience that there are more than a few men hanging out there.
I have enjoyed the writing that I have done based upon their prompts. I am also rather proud of the results. I think that the four posts below are pretty good. Stay tuned because there is more to come.