Who I Am

I haven’t posted in a while and it was bugging me so I decided to write something. I had a hard time deciding what to write about and then I finally had an idea. I decided to write about something I never really talk about: myself. I haven’t really talked about myself much on my own blog. Outside of my About Me page, I have maybe written about myself two times in the past three years. I have a few topics that hopefully give you an insight into who I am.

First, a quick update on my reading. I mainly post book recommendations and the next one will be about the book I’m currently reading, which is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’m about half-way through at the moment and I plan to have it up soon.

Next, I have joined that most dreaded of arena’s: the gym. I say most dreaded because I think most people don’t like going to the gym, especially people who’s work and hobbies consist of mainly sedentary activities. I enjoy reading, writing, and playing videogames outside of work and my work puts me in front of a computer a majority of the time. I played sports growing up and throughout high school, but since then I haven’t been terribly active except for a few years during college. I had gained about 20 lbs my first semester in college and proceeded to drop 40 lbs the following six months by running and eating healthier. Over the past six years, since meeting my now wife and being in a comfortable and loving relationship, I have gained a steady amount of weight to place me at the heaviest I have ever been. So now I am doing something about it and my reasons are plenty.

The first reason is for physical health (obviously), but this reason connects to several others. Being physically healthy and in-shape has many other benefits. It gives me more energy in my daily life which is greatly beneficial since I have so many goals and interests. It also positively impacts my mental health in a big way. I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. I am susceptible to heavy, dark topics and the pain of others, which is why I am always looking to help others so they don’t have to experience what I have. Luckily, over the years, I’ve been able to recognize the signs and prevent myself from falling too far into the darkness. Since I first met my wife, I’ve not had a bad episode so being in a great relationship helps, but maintaining my physical health also is a big benefit in this arena. Physical and mental health are not separate. There is only health.

Related to my mental health is my social life. I’m going to focus on the social media aspect here though. I have cut my time spent on Facebook by about 80% in the past several weeks and I must say that this has helped with my overall happiness. I never used Facebook much to begin with, but cutting my usage down (possibly down to zero one day) has been beneficial. Now my only social media use is on Twitter. I like this platform because it is easy to craft to your own use and it does have a great community for writers and authors. Even so, I don’t post much on Twitter. I’ll interact every now and then with some cool things, but I really use it to keep up-to-date with things going on. Unfortunately, that does involve news and politics, which really makes it difficult to keep the spirits up. But it is better to be informed than blissfully unaware until something terrible happens. Again though, there are many great people I interact with and follow who are uplifting positive forces. Certain authors like Gareth L. Powell and communities like #TwitterofTime are a few examples. As for why I don’t post much on social media, well, I don’t really feel like I have much to say. I only post my genuine thoughts and try to contribute to a positive atmosphere. That being said, I will try to post more often so those who are kind enough to follow me get a better sense of who I am and are hopefully intrigued or entertained by what I put out there.

The last few topics I wanted to talk about are related to the reason I started this blog: my writing. I’ve had a fun time maintaining this site and posting stories and talking about books. I’ve met new people like fellow bloggers other book enthusiasts. Overall, I’m happy I started and look forward to continuing. My initial reason for starting was for my writing. For my dream to become a published author. I have published one story (so far) but my plan is to publish books. I’ve had a lot to think about recently about this aspiration. Ironically enough, I believe it started several weeks ago when I read an article that was circulating Twitter that discussed what it is like to be an author in the 21st century. It covered how many things that used to be handled by publishing companies have become the author’s responsibilities. From promotions to book tours, many aspects that previously were handled by others have become a normal expectation of the authors themselves. It also discussed how many authors don’t make enough from advances or sales to make a living or even sustain their writing lifestyles. Needless to say, the article was greatly disruptive to my enthusiasm to reach my goals. In fact, I’ve begun doubting if my dream is attainable at all and I’ve delved into thoughts about giving up on that dream entirely.

The thought of giving up on my writing dream led me to imagine what my life would be without that desire. What would my life be without my dreams? Well, I would certainly have less self-doubt, but I know that I would not be happy. Even if I gave up wanting to be a published author, I would still need to write. I would still write books and stories regardless of attempting to find an agent and publishers or trying to get my stories out to the public to read. This realization has only confirmed that writing is a core part of who I am. My doubt and thoughts of quitting has only confirmed my need to continue this craft. It isn’t just a hobby. It’s me.

My doubts were not completely abolished by this realization of course. I don’t think they ever will be. I am going to my first ever writing conference next week and I hope that it will ignite my ambitions and inspire me toward my goal. I also hope to meet many new writing friends. Reviewing the events and preparing for the conference has already encouraged my writing dream and I’m excited to go.

And now for my final topic. My current work/life/dream balance. I greatly enjoy my job and I work with a phenomenal team, but I it’s also not exactly where I want to be. It does not necessarily allow me much room to work on my craft. It is in the field I want to work in but I’m not in the role I wish to make my career. I guess I really don’t need to be so ambiguous. I want to be a creative writing and/or literature teacher at a university. My current role has me in an academic support role for both students and faculty. I greatly enjoy it, but I’m conflicted because I continue to feel the pull to be in the classroom.

When I get home from work, I often don’t want to sit in front of a computer and work on my writing. I’ll either read or watch a show or do something that doesn’t take much thought. Outside of work, I hang out with friends and family. I find it hard to find time to write but I know I need to sit down and carve out the time and just do it. I was fairly productive this January but the past several weeks have been unproductive. Partly because of those creeping doubts. I am happy to say that those doubts had nothing to do with the quality of my work now that I think about it. I guess that is the silver lining to all of the overthinking I’ve been doing. I have many difficult decisions to make in the future but ultimately I need to ensure that I don’t give up or let the years go by where I dream of what might have been. I need to take steps toward where I want to be. I need take action to make my dreams a reality. It’s time for something to change and I’m sure I’ll find out the path I need to take with just a little more time.

So there I am. Or a glimpse into who I am. An overthinking kid with a million interests who wants to learn all the things but ultimately wants to create a life that can be sustained by writing books. Crafting stories that inspire and entertain others. Some day. One day. Let’s aim for a three year timeline for the first novel. It’s no longer a time to just dream. It’s the time to act, and I’m going to reach my first goal of finishing my first draft by my next birthday. Wish me luck and thank you for reading.

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