I've kept a personal journal for over 20 years - before some people on Twitter could even hold a crayon. Before computers, I wrote by hand. When I could finally afford it, I bought a typewriter. There are stacks of notebooks in the attic filled with fading ink on yellowing paper – and I've never once looked back to read any of it. I've always used writing as a cathartic tool – to get my feelings out, and let them go. In fact, I fear going back to see how stupid I was about things. And how poorly I wrote. And to actually revisit some of the most emotional places in my life. But the one thing I can't escape is that I'm a writer. And I'll probably die broke because of it.
When I was about ten, I wrote a neighborhood newspaper. During the week I'd gather interesting stories from around the hood, and on the weekends I'd hand-scribe about a dozen double-sided loose leaf pages (with the exact same information.) Then I'd roll them into tubes, snap a rubber band around them and deliver them to my neighbors. This ended after my mother received cease and desist requests from other moms. It turned out I was a bit too candid with my reporting. But journalism was never my bag anyway. I was just bored – and needed the writing practice.
As an advertising copywriter, I now make a living by twisting ideas for companies that pay me to get people to think differently about things. Between the tedious administrative duties of an entrepreneur and learning the intricacies of Social Media as a marketing device – I've become pretty frustrated lately. I write a lot less and manage a lot more. Yes, I still keep a journal, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm doing the right thing with my talent. I'm a writer, not an account executive or Social Media guru. My blog gets about 250 visits a day. Yes, I could turn this into ad revenue, but then I'd be no different than 95% of copycat bloggers who post nothing but regurgitated bullshit to satisfy advertisers and egos.
I'm a writer. An observer. And despite throwing myself into Social Media, I'm still something of a recluse. And yet I've managed to make a living with words. However meager. But when I start worrying about how to get people to come to my blog so I can turn those eyeballs into revenue and establish my status as a "thought leader" (in advertising or social media) – and I'm pulling my fucking hair out. I don't care about tips and tricks to get people to blogs so others can gain credibility and ad revenue. I don't. Really.
Sorry for rambling. I'm just not sure where I'm going with this post. I may take a long break from blogging, or maybe I'll parlay off of this chaos to ramp it up a notch. There's no telling. I just know that I'm a copywriter because I have a family to support, and I'm pretty good at it. And yes, I started writing ads when I ran my own newspaper at ten. But one day, I'm going to have to face my fears and tear open the past to figure out why the hell I'm really here.