Figuring out why I Write
Updated: Sep 25, 2021
I wouldn’t say this was my first attempt at writing a blog. Back in the days of myspace and livejournal I wrote several passages to attempt to impress the folks of my life. Poems, observations, short stories revolving around make believe violence and the discomfort of an unwilling audience. The crimes of youth, I suppose. These were my darker and more volatile days. I suppose writing came to me as a desire to work through whatever pain it was I was feeling. I grew up in a “broken” middle class home with all the trappings of emotional and physical abuse. Undiagnosed mental disorders and all the anxiety a child could have. I was always looking for a distraction from the real I was experiencing. Comic books, video games, forts and fantasy in the woods (soft L.A.R.P.ing?) and just an all around disconnect from the trauma. Which of course fell into more trauma, right? comments and more.
I’m getting off topic -- writing was a way for me to process trauma and philosophy. I suppose it lead to growth in a way, or maybe growing older with said things. I was a huge fan (and still am) of Henry Rollins. Get in the Van, Solipsist, and Eye Scream were in heavy rotation, along with his spoken word. “I can do this!” I often thought but with really no understanding of how or even the real desire to push myself. I just sat and wrote about whatever heartache that came. Mostly a stream of consciousness with no real understanding of what I wanted to do with it. A hobby really. I never thought I could hone my craft because I never really thought there was anything to hone...you know?
It wasn’t until 2011/2012 that I realizes...wait...I could be a writer. This was after a venture to Montana and opening a comic shop, then to return to Baltimore and manage one in 2010. I would sit and read and read and read. Suggest titles. Get heavy into the tastes of others and attempt to broaden their understanding of comics and maybe their pull list. And as the time passed I kept thinking about stories I could tell, emotions I wanted to process and dare I say “make” others feel. I just wanted to communicate to others in a manner that could be haunting, humorous, violent, and tragic. Yet again though...I knew nothing about where to start. How to start even.
Comics, whether you believe it or not, are hard to get in to. They're like one of those novels steeped in esoteric philosophies and techniques. Lost manuscripts, incantations and rituals that are all meant to be more of a maze than the thread to guide you through it. A journey, not a destination. Despite being a retailer and having that “in”, it still felt alien and unobtainable. Here I was-- surrounded by publishers and creators and I still felt like I didn’t belong or that I really wasn’t needed as another part of the community. But to be real, that was just me...what was in my mind. The foundation of my youth poisoned my thoughts about things I could do. I knew I would just have to start doing it. Don’t get me wrong...there are folks who don’t want to see others succeed but honestly, they are so few and far between...but they do tend to be the loudest. Just like that voice in my head.
But I started showing up to the documents. To the notebooks. To the office spaces and quiet nooks. I started showing up and committing to the idea of writing and steeping myself in fiction and imagination. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m still processing, but I’m still writing any way I can and if that turns into bombastic books, quiet tragedies, or a little too honest blog so be it. Join me.