Today has the distinction of being the last day of my 48th year on the planet, and my 100th entry.
I started tombeingtom.com in January 2016 as a spontaneous idea I had been working on for months. In my journal, in November 2015, I gave myself an ultimatum: write daily until January XX – 60 full days – and know for certain at the end of that period whether I am going to be a writer, or I am not.
I had been playing with the idea of writing for years. Even back in high school, 746 years ago, I was encouraged to pursue a career in writing by teachers. I did not. I pursued instead a career in carousing. It was always more fun to have fun. I had jobs. I had my own business. Fairly early on, I owned my own home. I took my work life seriously, but I didn’t take my future seriously much at all.
When I returned to school in my 30s, after a brief 16-year hiatus, I ran into the same level of encouragement. Professors encouraged me, demanded me, to write. My poetry teacher loved me. My English teacher wanted to make me an English teacher. The Critical Thinking professor wanted me to teach other kids in the class how to write critically. Writing was that one god-given thing I had.
I should show you all some of my poetry someday.
About that time in life (sorry for the digression), I started writing. I joined an online “about.com”-style service and became their NFL writer. I produced, for them, some 10 articles, the 3rd of which was selected as the article of the month (among hundreds, or thousands, or some such) and I felt pretty good about myself. Then I stopped. Cold turkey.
I don’t remember why. Did I get bored?
I took some more classes, shifting to online formats entirely. They were easier but lacked the personal touch and motivation that came from direct professorial contact. Eventually, through great effort, I never finished school.
I’ve spent the last dozen years running an appliance store with a great family that has become a family to me, as well. I take my work life seriously. I love it. It pays the bills, helped me get another house (which I subsequently lost in the crash), and allows me my precious carousing.
But there was always this emptiness. This “what am I supposed to do?!”
As an aside, and at the great risk of pushing yet another consecutive article into the “too long to read” category, I should point out that I don’t believe in supposed to’s. I don’t believe in god-givens, either, since I don’t believe in gods. I have a knack for writing probably because I’ve spent my whole life in love with words. There is a yearning to write because I’ve put it off my whole life and feel like it’s something I can do.
Aside over. Sorry if it was meaningless.
So, I told myself, in November 2015, that I was going to shit or get off the pot. This time, for sure. No excuses. No tolerance for failure. By January XX, 2016, I was going to be a writer or hang that yearn up forever.
I did not write every day between November XX, 2015 and January XX, 2016, and the deadline came and passed and I was still thinking, “should I be a writer?”
About a week later I asked some friends where I was carousing in a bar if I should start a blog and they all said, resoundingly, “YES.” So I did. Spontaneously, and with a lifetime and several months of buildup, I decided to start tombeingtom.com.
So here it is, on the last day of my 48th year on the planet, my 100th entry.
I’m not close to bored. I’m not close to done. June 2017 has been my favorite month of blogging, doing it every day. If I had the time, I would do it every day until the gods came to pull me from this mortal shell and take me to do what I’m supposed to.
But I won’t. I don’t. I have this store to run. There is more carousing to do. Writing doesn’t make me money, and money’s a big deal. I won’t post daily after the day after tomorrow. But I will keep posting. I will keep writing, all the time.
It’s what I do. I’m a writer.
I have 100 entries to prove it. 😎