Looking back at the context of my life, I’m amazed that I am now a writer – albeit, not a published one. Of all things in this world, to think that poetry is my obsession is simply mind-boggling. It is this reflection that led me to a very simply conclusion: God called me to write, and there is nothing else I can do. I certainly did not choose writing: I just cannot help it. And this is the story of how I became a writer.
Even though I was born in Louisville, Kentucky – which is a decently sized city – I was raised in the very small town of Brandenburg. Seriously, it isn’t even on most maps. Somewhere between three and five thousand people live there; in fact, I remember telling people in my Communications 101 class that I had to drive thirty-five minutes to see a movie and they were stunned. Even people in Kentucky don’t know where Brandenburg is, and the biggest building is either the high school or the Kroger. But I loved it. My family lived on this plot of land that was split between five or six families, and each had about an acre or two. I never really hung out with anyone, and I think that’s why I loved it so much. After school and soccer, I could go home and enjoy quiet. I loved not having to listen to the pointless noise of cars and planes etc. I spent hours listening to music and reading; I can remember getting addicted to Lord of the Rings and Led Zeppelin (in fact, I remember laying on the floor listening to an audio CD of The Hobbit). That’s when I started writing. My friends and I would work on stuff together, and I remember being fascinated with maps. Since we were somewhere around 12, most of it was copies – I’m talking total rip-offs – but eventually I began working on my own pseudo-original ideas.
And here I have to credit my parents. They have always supported my dreams of being a writer, and for that I am so thankful. My parents pushed me into entering a short-story contest at the library. I won the contest – because I was the only one who entered in my age-group – but it was a confidence boost. And I’ve been writing ever since.
And then came college. I really hated college – which is weird, because I love to learn – but I have to admit that it was instrumental. Even though I only enjoyed like four classes, I learned that I did not have to care about what others thought of me. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure that was college. It was probably my fiancé, who was strange, silly, and beautiful. I did all kinds of things for her, like sitting outside at 10 o’clock (at night) in November to talk on the phone – I lived in a dorm – and acting like a moron in my dorm room to make her laugh – my roommate eventually left, and I had the place to myself for a whole semester. But it didn’t matter what people thought: I was doing those things for her. And I’ve applied that to my writing. I don’t write for other people or for publishers; it doesn’t matter if people like my poetry. That isn’t the joy of writing. The joy of writing – the real reason I write – is the act of writing, knowing that I’m am creating.
So, that’s my story so far. I’m sure more influences will come, but these are my roots. I’m a Kentucky boy who dreams of worlds that don’t exist. Whatever I may turn out to be, this is what I am.