I’ve been getting a lot of feedback on my writing lately. Most all of it is positive. And I’m grateful for every little bit. As a kid I loved to write, but never thought I’d ‘be’ a writer. I just wrote stories. Neither of my parents went to college, and so they just figured I’d get a job out of High School like everyone else, and go work for a trucking company the rest of my life. I got a bit lost in my teens all the way through my late 20s, but never really stopped writing during this time. I discovered advertising in my 30s when I went to college as a an English major. I couldn’t believe people got paid for writing ads. It was like an epiphany. I threw myself into it and was quite good. During that time, my personal writing took a backseat. I was fired from my first ad agency after only about 15 months, and started my own shop. My writing during that time got pushed way to the back, as earning a living on my own was the most important thing. There were children now. And a mortgage. But then a couple of years ago, I found blogging. Since then, I’ve written hundreds of blog posts. Most of them short enough for someone to read in under 5 minutes. As a copywriter, this was a good length for me. Plus, it’s about all the attention I can muster for a random topic. Not to mention being able to carve the time necessary to write. Time, I’ve found, is my most formidable adversary. Anyway, so far blogging has been a revelation for me. It’s allowed me to reconsider how beautiful it is to write without restrictions. And your feedback has been inspirational. In fact, it’s given me the confidence to write a book – which I started earlier this year. It’s coming along slowly, but it’s something I absolutely have to get out of me. I turn my attention to the book as often as possible, but I’ve found that I can’t quit the small stuff. The blogging, and the feedback on the blogging, is what keeps me going. And while it’s true that I can’t focus on both the book and blogging concurrently, I don’t think of blogging as so much of a distraction, as possibly a direction. Think Robert Fulgham. Except, I’m no Fulgham. I don’t want to be no anybody. Except me.
This week at a social media conference, I was approached by several people I didn’t know, who recognized me for my writing. I can’t tell you how amazing that felt. And the people who approached me talked to me about specific blog posts that moved, or affected them in some way. I was proud. Even though it was a little weird. I’d won awards for my work in advertising, but that’s different. That’s collaborative. Writing is a lonely task. Or, at least blogging is. Anyway, positive feedback moves me like nothing else and gives me the confidence necessary to keep going. Publicly, I mean. I could keep everything to myself, but then I’d only question whether my ideas, style or voice were good enough to share. And that would never work. I know me. I also know me well enough to know that without positive feedback, the little demons that tell me not to share publicly -will take over. So again, thank you. Some of the things you’ve said to me both publicly and in private are unbelievably nice and make me feel unworthy.
But I will say this, for a dose of humility all I have to do is read to my kids to realize that I’m not all that. Lately I’ve been reading To Kill a Mockingbird to the girls at night. Talk about humbling. Reading classic works that have affected me in the past are great reminders that I’m nowhere near the kind of storyteller that changes the world. But that’s ok. I don’t really want to change the world. I just want to tell stories.
Anyway, I don’t say it enough – thank you for reading this blog. And thank you for all the positive feedback that inspires me to continue writing here.