There has always been honorable intent behind my drive to write, but the truth of the matter is I started largely because I liked the idea of being a writer. More specifically: the idea of being recognized and respected as one. This inspiration fueled me for longer than I’d like to admit (but I’m glad for it now—it got me going).
Through my twenties I couldn’t finish anything, because I refused to finish anything that wasn’t a masterpiece. A hamster on a wheel, I worked and reworked sentences to death. Compounding the problem was that I occasionally shared bits and pieces of my work; and hearing from others what I knew myself (that my work was just “pretty good,” if that) was devastating.
Over the last few years, until a few months ago, I’d “shelved” my writing endeavors “to focus on family and career.” In lieu of writing—and inspired by the birth of my daughter—I made more concerted efforts to be the best human being I can be, for my girls, for me, and for everyone in my life. This led me to the Dali Lama’s teachings, great discussions with my wife, and a lot of self-reflection.
Among what I confirmed during my sabbatical from writing was that my struggles were rooted in misguided inspiration and unrealistic expectations. Writing, or embarking on any endeavor, for renown, is probably not a good idea—and, at least for me, agonizing and impossible. Writing to give life and clarity to ideas that you can share with others—now that’s worthwhile. That can lead to profound human connection, which is key to finding happiness.
As I’ve begun making adjustments in all arenas of life, “setting the table” for contentment (as opposed to notoriety or material success), my itch to write has returned. My biggest obstacles have been starting (a.k.a. overcoming the inertia of not having written for years), and finding the time!
Enter Trevor and Jeff. No, neither of them wired me 100K so that I could quit my job and write more. But they did something even better. They began sharing their writing with me.
Trevor, my college roommate for 3 years, started a blog and it was good (still is). Trevor had kind of “left the reservation” for a bit, so it was great to have him back via his blog. The humor and authenticity with which he expressed his stories and ideas drew me in, and I felt closer to my buddy than I had for a long while.
Our other partner in crime, Jeff, began pushing Trevor’s blog via his own blog, and I got reacquainted with Jeff’s blog (which I had known in its infancy). I signed up for email notifications so that I wouldn’t miss any new postings by either of them—and both had me laughing on a regular basis. My friends reminded me of what we can accomplish with words—and that good writing can be fun to read and write.
Though lack of time remains an issue, I started a blog of my own. I still work at snail’s pace to ensure my best work (I’m no longer suppressed by the weight of expectation, but I am still anal retentive) but I’ve actually finished a few things. Nothing that will make me rich and famous, but honest thoughts, currency to connect with my brethren.
I’m looking forward to working with Trevor and Jeff on goodgreatwonderful.com, because our collaboration will inspire the best from each of us, and because we will now be a whole lot less likely of losing touch. I don’t know exactly what to expect from this undertaking, but I do know that it will be interesting and fun, at least for us.