cool kids and follow suit. Sort of. Click the "read more" bit under my charming illustration for the full scoop. I did really draw this, by the way.
See, I never really set out to be a writer. I've wanted to be a lot of things in my life - cartoonist, touring musician, professional wrestler, oversexed Marxist dictator - but the only thing I've ever really been good at is writing. I started early, apparently; my parents tell me that I taught myself how to read when I was three, and I read so much so early that I eventually tried to write my own stuff. It wasn't very good. Nevertheless, I won writing contests throughout elementary and middle school, and certainly enjoyed the attention they sent my way. But I never had any abiding passion for the art of it. I wrote because if I didn't, what else was I going to do? I was not someone blessed with a whole lot of natural talents, and the only reason people had to notice the weird quiet kid was that he could write. Sort of.
So on and on it went. I got into music and wrote songs for my band, and the less said about those, the better. I wrote a weekly column for my college's newspaper that was essentially an intellectual dick 'n fart joke outlet, and my brief stint as an editor for that paper almost got me sued. I helped start an alternative lit. publication on campus and wrote for that, again in an essay-journalism style. I started to like writing then. It was fun to provoke people who needed a pitchfork jabbing their butts, and I learned a lot about pacing and voice from my time there. I also took a couple of writing classes, which were my only formal creative writing instruction up to that point. My friends seem to think I was groomed for this from the beginning, but alas, most of my writing education was of the sentence-diagramming variety. Everything else I learned from reading and occasionally asking teachers what they thought of something, and time.
I have more of a passion for writing now that I'm in grad school. I've been writing freelance since I graduated college, and have had essays and a couple of fiction pieces published since then. But I don't exclusively feel like I write because I have little else to recommend me to the world. I like it now. Clearly I must, because this post has rambled on forever, certainly well beyond its logical end-point. But someone remind me to tell that story about how I almost got sued. That's a good one.