It’s difficult to remember exactly when I became interested in writing. Going through school I got good grades, but I didn’t have a subject I fell in love with from the very beginning. I always ended up doing better in english courses than math and better in speech than science. But I was never fully taken by the subjects. School was school.
My reading habits were sporadic. I’m the type of person that likes a very specific type of book. I’ll go months without reading before I stumble onto a series I like. Watch out though, because once I find one I completely lose myself. I’ll stay up until 6am reading. I’ll spend every spare moment possible entrenched in the book until I finish.
Fantasy and science fiction have always been where I lose myself the most. The Redwall series, Enders Game, Harry Potter. I definitely fancied writing a book like that for periods of time when I was younger, but it never became anything serious. Especially when I fully realized the amount of thought and planning that goes into making a book great.
Starting to write
All of this to say, I never wrote much beyond school papers. Until college, where I became interested in business and entrepreneurship. I started following bloggers and the online business world. Somehow, I found myself writing. Sporadically just like my reading habits, but writing nonetheless.
My earliest online writing is from the beginning of 2013. I was finishing my sophomore year of college, and delved into writing by convincing my lacrosse coach at IU to let me blog for the team. To give you a taste, here is one of my first posts for LacrosseRoads of America.
You have to respect titling a post “Scrumtrulescent.” As popular as SNL is, that is a bold niche reference.
Reading back through my old blog posts for IU Lacrosse is a cringe-inducing experience. The bad jokes. The grammar mistakes. The general weirdness of my past self trying to be something. What exactly I was trying to be, I’m not sure. I don’t think I even knew then. But I was writing and hitting publish.
I was a writer.
My interest in writing grew the more I did it. Eventually, it spurred the launch of my own blog. The blog you are reading right now. My first post was simple, barely even a post.
But I was a writer.
My next venture was an e-book. It was the longest piece of writing I’d ever done. I was so proud of how much I’d written at the time that I highlighted the amount of content more than anything else when I launched. The night before launch I stayed up until 3:30am finishing the formatting. I had to finish it on my friend’s borrowed Mac so I could use iBooks Author. I think a total of four people downloaded. It’s still available.
Working through the weird
I look back on all this writing and have mixed feelings.
Sometimes I want to cringe. I don’t do well with embarrassing moments. When there is an embarrassing moment in a TV show I’ll find myself looking at the screen through my fingers, as if covering my face with my hands will guard me from the embarrassment I’m seeing. My writing was awkward. I tried to be funny and came off creepy. I tried to be deep and came off corny.
Then I remember… I tried. I did the thing. I wrote and hit publish.
My writing is still weird. My grammar still isn’t the best. I still struggle to start sentences with words other than I, it’s, or the. I’m still awkward as hell. My jokes still suck.
But I am writing.
With any endeavor, you have to be willing to work through the weird to get to where you want to be. It’s non-negotiable. There is no limit to how long this takes. It could be six months (unlikely), one year (eh), 10 years (more like it).
But here is the key you must remember. Everyone is weird. There are zero exceptions to weirdness. So don’t try to avoid it and don’t get discouraged by it. Weirdness is inescapable. Instead focus on pursuit.
Pursuit of your own brand of weird.
Once you find it, everything becomes scrumtrulescent.