Why I'm A Writer

           I started to try and make sense. To talk to someone in an empty room. To search for answers from the closed doors surrounding me. To try and capture a bit of the curiosity filling my soul. I could feel God but I couldn’t make sense of anything else. I wasn’t a troubled teen. I just lived in a troubled world and I was a curious kid.
            I filled notebooks with songs and poems and little pieces of my heart. They weren’t for anyone. Well, usually they weren’t. They were just things on my chest that needed to be said. And since I didn’t know who to speak them to, I wrote them down. My melancholy, misguided, and often moronic mind needed to be set at ease. Writing would do this. Writing was an outlet.
            I never stopped.
            Yet writing in journals and writing for yourself is far different than writing for story. I should’ve read more. I should’ve studied more. When I started writing fiction, I couldn’t help taking the melancholy and putting it front and center. It’s a habit that I still can’t break. People meet me and think I’m funny but then surely read these sad and sappy tales and probably wonder who wrote them. The outside shell is the comedian. The inner soul is the tortured poet. Neither really is accurate because I’m both of those and more. I’m more just like everybody is more than a simple, square postcard people like to put you in.
            I wrote my first novel in pencil on paper. I still have that. Each year, I can see the writing fade just a little more. The story isn’t the important thing. It’s what that finished novel represented. A ninth grader desperately trying to cling on to ONE thing in his life that he could control. One thing that he could make his own. Somehow, in some messy way, he managed to finish that novel.
            He’s finished a few more, too.
            I still find myself writing to make sense of the life around me. The older I see, the more I find I don’t understand. Yet the more I discover God’s grace and love. They are real and not simple emotions I feel while listening to Thomas Newman and writing. They are real and they are powerful.
            I look at my flaws and then I take out the literary paintbrush and start painting. I look at my brokenness and then I begin to try and patch the pieces together. These paintings and pieces fit into stories in various ways. Yeah, it’s still about me, just like it was when I was a teenager. But bit by bit I’m learning how to tell some cool stories and how to convey some of these themes in an entertaining and unique way.
            This week is my five-year-anniversary as a full-time writer. I’m gonna celebrate by writing a little more and sharing some thoughts on my blog. I still have so far to go, but I’m grateful how far I’ve come.
            I’d love to see that ninth-grader again and pick his brain. I wonder how different it would seem to the one that fills my thoughts on a daily basis.
            I think we’d still have a lot in common. A lot. 

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