When I am down, it’s there for me. When I am bored, it enlightens me. When I suffer heartbreak, it pulls me through. When I am vulnerable, it gives me a voice. When I am creative, it enhances me.
When I think about it, it makes me happy and puts a smile on my face. I’m talking about that great love in my life that has always been my catch: writing. I really don’t know what I’d do without it. It truly saves me.
I started writing when I was 8-years-old. I think I knew I had a gift when my dad grounded me for a day. I had gone with him to Kmart and at the time my mom sung in the church choir. I saw these pretty cross studded earrings and I thought, mom would love these! So as I tried to slip them into my pocket, my dad caught me and dragged me out of the store. I cried the whole way home as he ordered me to my room.
I remember sleeping for a few hours and when I woke up he said, “You have two options: you can stay grounded for another few days or you can write about why stealing is wrong.” I chose to write and this was my essay:
My dad told my mom that I had something special for a young kid. As time went on, I knew I somehow wanted to make writing a career. I get to do something I love everyday. How many people can say that?
There are times where the writing will consume me. I get excited and want to share it with the world, so I get into a zone and type away. But sometimes people I have talked to over the years – and most men I have dated – just don’t understand my passion for it and they say any of the following:
- When will you ever slow down?!
- You are such a workaholic!
- Don’t you have a life?!
For the record, yes, I have a life. I see my friends a couple times a week and I always make sure I check up on them at least 2 to 3 times a week to make sure everyone is ok. If I am seeing someone I will also make time for him. I need my future partner to understand and accept me fully and encourage me with what I do for a living. I also chat with my family a couple times a week and see them 1 or 2 times a year, as they live in Florida. Relationships with people in your life need to be cherished.
Yes, I have slowed down slightly. I now live in Ventura County (north of LA County) where it’s not as chaotic and good for my soul at age 36. If I deal with LA, it’s for freelance work, but to live there at this stage of my life and deal with the kind of stress on a full time basis like I previously did is not for me anymore.
And am I a workaholic? I don’t think I am but others would say else wise. It really depends on how you look at it. I have been striving in this creative field what is know as the “media” since I was a kid, this I know:
- I know I have created this for myself.
- I know it takes a lot of hard work, hustling and presence.
- I know there are certain times where sacrifices need to be made.
- Basically, I knew what I was getting myself into.
All day long I think like a man, especially when it comes to juggling current and future freelance projects. I didn’t expect it to blow up like it has in the past 3 out of the 6 years I have been in SoCal and I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come along. This past year I had to learn to start saying “no” more or I would’ve gone looney between that and my full time job! I didn’t really understand the concept of work/life balance until last year.
There are certain months out of the year where as much as I like to travel, I don’t and can’t take a vacation during those times. Why? Because there is too much creativity to be expressed. After years of being in SoCal, I know when the busy months are. If editors want me to have a voice for their brand or have a person’s story told through your words and I feel passionate about the project, then I will say yes. I want to help. Back in my 20s, writing was more about winning awards. Now that I’m in my 30s, it’s more about giving back.
Any true writer or reporter will say they are never satisfied with whatever they write. When they are, it’s rare. I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing, even as I sit here writing this blog post I am trying to be as open and honest as I can! The thing I love the most about blogging is I have 100% control and ownership of the content. It also gives me the opportunity to share stories from all of my experiences from living in SoCal and help/teach others the law of the land.
But I still feel like I am missing something. Will people really take away something and capture the full essence? Have I said enough? That’s a perfectionist for ya.
Even when I write news articles for media outlets or for brands I never read the finished product because I know it’s going to be edited and chopped here and there, just like any journalist’s print story. I know what has been tweaked here and there in terms of wording, not facts. That’s just the way it is.
I’ve gotten a mix of positive and even a few harsh reviews over the years. The biggest one was when I wrote a story about Michael Jackson’s youngest child, Blanket. At the time, I was assigned to cover an entertainment story about celebrity kids that grew up too fast. Years prior, Blanket had been”introduced” to the world when Michael dangled him over a hotel balcony in Berlin, Germany, for screaming fans down below. All of facts were true, which I covered in the article, but MJ fans took it as me trying to “degrade” him and exposing his child in a negative light, which wasn’t the case. I have never had so many MJ fans throw daggers at me in my life! But the way I look at it is if I can have freedom of speech, so can the readers, whether it’s good or bad. It just comes with the territory.
Moving to LA 6 years ago really has allowed me to grow more as a writer and as a person. I have had the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people that share the same love as I do and inspire me to better myself and my craft.
I thank my readers for continuing to let me share my passion with you. 🙂