On successful writing: I’ll only fail if I quit


I’ve said before that I’ve realized I always wanted to be a writer. I had a creative writing teacher in high school who wrote in my yearbook “Never stop writing, Mike. You have a beautiful gift.”

Somewhere along the way, I did quit. Who knows where I’d be now if I’d continued writing out of high school and out of college? It doesn’t do any good to speculate. I certainly can’t change the way things worked out.

Who knows? Maybe by now I would have dedicated my first best-selling-soon-to-be-a-major-theatrical-release novel to Mrs. Baker. I may yet.

She was right. I never should have quit writing.

In some ways I’ve always been writing something. Just not in a concentrated, purposeful manner. And not with an eye towards actually making this a profession.

The self-help career gurus will tell you to find your passion and then find a way to make a living doing that. I’m working on it.

In my current day job, I spent a lot of time in meetings.

Let me say that again. I spend a lot of time in meetings.

When the meetings drag on and the same issue is discussed over and over (and often over the course of several meetings) while not being resolved, or when the person chairing the meeting says something like “irregardless, we need to do it this way,” I can hear the nails on the chalkboard.

What I know is that most of the time when I’m thinking I’d like to be elsewhere, I think “I’d rather be writing.”

No wait, first it’s “I’d rather be at the beach,” then “I’d rather be writing.”

No, that’s not quite it either.

“I’d rather be writing at the beach.”

There. Fixed it.

I’m not sure why I had to be in my mid-50s to realize it.

To me few things could be more rewarding than having a life where the day started with a walk on the beach only to come home to a good pot of coffee (pot, not cup) and a laptop where I could type away on the next great American novel.

It’s a dream.

No, it’s a goal. One that I’m actively working toward.

It won’t happen today, or this week. But I plan to be a lot closer to it next year.

What I know for now is that I need to write, write, write. Lots. Every day.

The more I write the better I get. The more words I put down on paper or on a screen the better I get at this whole putting words together thing.

I know that now. Just like I know that Mrs. Baker was right.

I am writer.

I can’t quit.

I got nowhere else to go (language warning).

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