What It’s Like To Bare Your Soul To The World Through Words
I’ve always been an ‘open book’ in my writing — here are some reflections on that now that the entire world will soon be able to open an actual book of my writing
Writing has always been one of few things that comes naturally to me and with complete confidence. I was doing it long before I was ever paid for it and would continue to even if I never made another red cent for doing so.
From an early age, any schoolwork or projects of mine involving writing stuck out to teachers and other adults in my life. I never really put much stock in their compliments, I just kind of thought they were being nice.
Then our entire graduating class from grade school was forced to write graduation speeches, three of which would be read at the ceremony by the kids who wrote them. When mine was one of the three picked out of the other 150 or so written — I was more or less forced to believe them.
The secret was then out. Anytime something involving writing came up within my family, whether eulogies or whatever else — I was asked to write them.
I say this not to brag but to establish some background info on my relationship with writing for those who may not be familiar with my work.
Deeply personal writing always spoke to me, no matter the form. Whether in rap lyrics, poetry, essays, or memoirs. I gobbled up as much of it as I could from a young age and really never stopped. All of which is to say, that is naturally what came to influence much of my own writing, once I started to do so regularly.
It was therapeutic for me, cathartic almost. It’s cliche’ perhaps but the reason cliches are cliches is because they’re true. Writing has provided an outlet for me to outwardly deal with all of the turmoil within me. To help heal some of the internal pain caused by so many different external events — many of which were outside my control. To help accept the things I can’t change.
Death, tragedies, betrayal, heartbreak, and loss seemed to follow me for a time. I can honestly say without writing — I don’t know how I would have gotten through much of it.
There’s a vulnerability in all creative works, no matter the genre or form. Just putting yourself out there for the world to critique, judge, and criticize takes a certain amount of bravery. But to write about your real-life and things that have actually happened is a different animal entirely.
I don’t include names of people for the most part — and definitely not in any story that could potentially incriminate anyone, or just put their business out there, even if it was at least in part my business.
Still though, it can be difficult to navigate through. You end up wondering if people you love and have written about have read it — and if they have what they thought about it and all that comes with it. It can all be a bit heavy at times.
It can feel isolating and ostracizing. Even when you’re good at it.
I mean, imagine if you had a journal or diary, where you recorded your inner most thoughts, feelings, opinions and latest happenings in your life.
The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between.
And then one day, it ended up somehow getting published online, for the world to read. Except as you go about your business everyday, you’re more or less unsure of who has actually taken the time to read it. Who loved it and who hated it. Who may hate you for even having the audacity to think people would want to read words you wrote.
Because at times, this is very much what it is like.
Much to my surprise and pleasure, a few months ago marjorie steele approached me about possibly publishing a collection of my essays through her new but ever growing publishing company Creative Onion Printing Press.
It didn’t take long before we realized we both more or less had the same vision and expectations for the project and felt the other would be easy to work with. So we decided to move forward, a contract was drawn up and we both signed it.
As excited as I am about this project and as amazingly surreal as it will feel to open a book with my name on the cover will be, I’d be down right lying if said I wasn’t as equally nervous about it as I am excited.
As would be anybody who was about to release a body of creative work for the world to see. Because as I mentioned, regardless of genre or form, there’s automatically a vulnerability instilled in doing so. The stakes are just a little bit greater when it’s a work of a personal nature.
It isn’t the critics, reviews or numbers I worry about though. It’s potentially, embarrassing or otherwise upsetting someone I love and never intended to I worry about I suppose. Because while it isn’t intentional, it’s almost inevitable given the nature of much of my writing.
So then, the choice seemed to be give in to that fear and not pursue the only real goal I’ve ever been interested in achieving, which is becoming a successful writer, on my own terms and writing about what I want to write about in the manner I want to do so — or facing that fear and taking a chance.
I decided to take the chance. Who knows what may come of it. All I know is I could not be more excited to be working with Marjorie on this, nor could I be more grateful to her and The Creative Onion for helping make a lifelong dream of mine a reality.
I decided to share the news here on Medium, being this is the place where my writing first started to find success. Though I no doubt have my issues with Medium as a platform, I’ll forever be grateful to them and all of their members for making me believe, maybe it was possible to become a successful writer on my own terms.
No official release date has been decided yet but once it has, I look forward to letting you all know as we’ll shortly thereafter begin accepting pre-orders for Power Rangers, Paxil, Poverty and More: Essays on Millenial Manhood From The Cheap Seats.
Thank you again to everyone reading this who helped make this possible.