I’m a writer. As in, this is my career path but also as in, this is what I’ve always identified myself as.
I first started writing when I was seven. We’re not just talking about a one-page short story scratched out in pencil on a piece of lined paper with hand-drawn margins to pass in to the teacher, folks. We’re talking full on chapter books, series stories about myself and my best friend – a dynamic duo saving the neighborhood from bullies and monsters one summer afternoon at a time. I filled notebook after notebook with these stories and others, and at one point or another we all realized this wasn’t just a phase. I was a writer.
Most people hear me say, “I’m a writer” and immediately follow-up that up with, “So, what’s your blog?” Riiight, so you see, the funny thing is… I haven’t had a blog. In a really long time.
So, OK. Here’s my hold up: I don’t really have a theme – nothing that feels sticky enough, at least. I could cover the things I’m passionate about, sure, but how do I pen a crafty blog post with a unique perspective if I’m in line with every other guy on the block writing about health, or yoga, or writing, or recipes – or anything else under the sun?
When I was in college, I was the Editor-in-Chief of our newspaper and had a weekly column. People read it – I know because random kids would come up to me in the cafeteria or the quad and talk to me about what I had written. And it was kind of blog-ish – so that counts, right? Except, no. It doesn’t, because it was a newspaper, which is kind of the exact opposite of a blog. It also had no central theme – major oversight on my part, right?
The one thing that really set the column apart and kept readers coming back – or so I was told – was the tone I wrote in. Rather than taking a traditional, journalistic route, I wrote those columns in the same style I think and speak. The result? Columns with personality that felt more like conversation over coffee – probably the reason why people I had never met before would track me down to chat in the salad bar line.
Eventually, I stopped focusing on finding a theme and instead learned to let my own voice shine through my work. See, the thing is, when you’re actually passionate about something – like a weekly college newspaper column with no central theme – people know it. They don’t care if you can’t quite define what you’re doing, or if it doesn’t fit within the standard parameters. What they care about is whether or not you give a shit about your work, whether you’re funneling your guts into it. I’m pretty sure that, if you are, it’ll all work out in the end.