I’m an early 40’s college grad from Oklahoma who grew up on the ubiquitous red-dirt road. I learned to farm and ranch like many young people–through forced servitude. The family’s side business always irritated me because I am inherently as lazy as possible whenever possible. Laziness and country livin’ don’t often coexist peacefully, so I grew up intermittently resentful of my lot in life. As is typically the case, it takes a while to realize the breadth of the value life presents you–especially if you are a country boy.
I survived my onerous childhood, and I made it to college. I bounced around from major to major trying to find something to hold my attention. It’s hard for me to stay focused as I have wildly varied interests. I’m very much the Renaissance man in that I can and will do myriad things across myriad fields with a measure of success. However, I probably fail in that regard as well in that I truly tend to typify the “Jack of all trades, master of none” style of generalist in the more negative ways. I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little as it’s been said. Some of my tendencies are positive in that I am capable of understanding and doing many things. It is a negative when I allow myself to lose focus. That happened a lot in college.
Ultimately, I tried a number of things in school only to realize that the one thing I’ve consistently done through the course of my life is to write. I was a child poet and storyteller almost as soon as I could effectively put pencil to paper. That realization led me to “finally” complete a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. In truth, I focused as narrowly on creative writing as I could. I love to read, but I love to write more, so English lit only received lip service when possible. I’ll never be the man who quotes Shakespeare to enhance a point or to sound intellectual in a conversation.
Since college, I’ve continued to write. At times I’ll get inspired and write thousands of words that will never see the light of day, or I’ll jot down a turn of phrase I find interesting. Sadly, I’ve never made myself seriously attempt to master the one craft I’ve consistently loved, so for every hour I spend feeling inspired and putting pen to pad, I spend a week with nothing created or refined. I allow myself to become satisfied with “OK” work when I feel as though I could create something compelling and wonderful. I am sure I’m not the first or even the millionth to express that sentiment, but I hope to be able to put that behind me.
This blog–like so many others–is an attempt to commit to bettering myself through writing and to try to overcome my lack of mastery in the one pursuit I’ve always loved.