Every journey begins somewhere. My writing journey began 22 years ago. That was the first time I remember putting a pen to paper and writing a story down. I had stories before that, I just never wrote any of them down. I thought they were stupid and that no one would ever care about what I did.
That was drilled into my head so many times as a kid I have the tool marks from the drill on my scalp.
I never thought about being a writer until that time 22 years ago. I was fourteen and I was in English glass. We had a set group of words we were supposed to use in a story. The story was something I had in my head for a while and it ended up four pages long.
The teacher–an older lady with an English accent–whom I will call my first fan. She graded the story, gave it back and it had a red A on it with the comments, “This is a fascinating story Brian, but where are the words. You should write more like this.”
That was the beginning of my journey.
The past 22 years I have spent finding who I am. I have written two books–am writing a third–I have a family, something I never thought I would have after the torture I went through in middle school from bullies. I was spit on, shut in lockers, called all sorts of names–ones I will never repeat and I was alone. I had no one to trust.
The “friends” I surrounded myself with vanished went I started missing school to avoid the bullies. The knew how bad I had it but they didn’t care about anything but their skin.
My time spend at the school taught me that the only one you can truly trust is yourself. I stopped trusting teachers, parents, friends and especially girls. The few girls I was interested in laughed in my face or were tormented by the bullies themselves.
What changes come to those who wait?
It is now 22 years later, I am a writer ready to being on another journey. This one being an inner search. I don’t mean that as toward religion, I found my beliefs. I am looking for something that I lost 22 years ago, my ability to write without worrying what anyone will say.
Caring what people say is a way to drive yourself mad. Such is the life of a writer. One critic goes away and another takes their place. It has been this way for my entire life.
I want to write the way I did when I was 14, that blissful feeling I had in my English class of writing something when I didn’t care about the grade or whether I would piss anyone off by writing it.
I am looking for my 14 year old self, have you seen him?