As unbelievable as it may sound, writing has not always been a passion for me. As a child, I was forced to write sentences as a punishment for missed homework assignments, misbehavior, and such. I can still remember one weekend where I needed to write “I will not forget to do my homework” almost 700 times. I brought it into the teacher and, wouldn’t you know it, she tossed it in the trash. That was proof to me that most teachers in northeast Pennsylvania, at that moment, had the intellectual honesty of a used car dealer.
Nevertheless, writing still appealed to me as an outlet and an art form. Despite the fact I was never a voracious reader, I enjoyed writing. Though I never kept a diary, I did, in my darkest moments, journal while in college. To this very day, writing has been my intellectual comfort food; where others find solace in a good book, a television program, or an old movie, my happy place is at a keyboard, or with a pen and paper in hand. There is precious little in this world, aside from my family, which I cherish more than this love of the written word.
That admission brings me to a decision made regarding my future as a writer. For three years, I have been a writer for Examiner.com, writing articles about elections, politics and cats. I recently joined the Yahoo Contributors Network, which has afforded me greater flexibility in terms of both content and platform. Along the way, I have managed to write five novels, a novella, and several short stories. I even managed to help resurrect my college newspaper and put it on solid ground for years to come.
Yet, along the way, I felt empty.
On June 30, 2013, my family and I made the most difficult decision ever; we moved from our home of over 15 years near Tampa, Florida to Atlanta. Following this move, we endured financial crisis after crisis, seeing our life exposed as a house of cards which was destroyed. In November, I was at my lowest ebb, wondering what was going wrong and why my life felt like it was shambles. After all, I had moved to the area I had always wanted to live in, so why had things not become better? Why didn’t life go from humdrum and struggle to a new life of prosperity and joy? Wasn’t Atlanta supposed to be the magic bullet to solve all my problems.
I forgot the single most important rule of life: what you put out is what you get back, and I had been putting out “what’s in it for me?” for years.
Thanks in large part to the kindness of strangers and friends, we managed to navigate everything and began to experience what true victory was all about. Winning is not about making a ton of money, or rising to the top of a career pile, but instead about how well we serve our fellow man. Instead of trying to create a reputation for making controversial statements and, in turn, a following based on generating a lowest-common-denominator buzz, my heart began to open and, in the process, embraced one of the greatest truths of life itself; we really are all connected, and we really are all one.
That’s why this blog is now here. The greatest challenge of my life has been laid out before me; to serve my fellow man in the best way possible and, in the process, serve myself. Fortune and fame would be wonderful byproducts of my success, but only inasmuch as it helps to improve the world about me. My life’s calling is to the write, and it is also to teach. What I intend to teach is not something you can find in some book, or a course; it is simple, universal truths which we too often ignore, and I intend to teach it in ways which I may not even realize. My heart will speak through this site, my soul will teach through it, and with hard work and luck, lives will be transformed as a result.
It is the least I can do for a world which has given me so very much and perhaps, in the end, both the world and myself can both profit from this endeavor.