About Me and Why I Write

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I JUST WANT TO BE AN EXCELLENT WRITER. That’s it. Keep me pure. I want a future where I’ve written so much that I can showcase my texts on a handmade shelf in my office. And then I’ll be somewhere pining over my latest piece or novel or story, wondering if I can keep up with myself and my readers. I just want it all to be excellent.

Personally…I have an amazing wife and three children who color and create my universe in the best possible way, and I am the luckiest man ever. I will never tire of thinking or saying that. I’ve taught high school English and coached soccer for more than a decade now, and I get to write curriculum and tutor kids too. I love all of it, I really do. I’m currently editing a book of essays and working on my first novel and my first graphic novel. I also have a ton of short stories I’m trying to sell to magazines. Oh and I do all of this in Massachusetts.

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I write because I’m a writer. I have ideas every day and have to put them down. I see stories and characters and conflict where there are none, and then create a world to encapsulate these motifs, even if the worlds are short and combustible. Some stars need to explode.

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I write because I have to. If you’re a writer and you try to walk away from writing, and you do so successfully, then you’re not a writer in the existential sense. If you write every day, and dream about more time to write, and scan and re-read books looking for those magical pockets of literary moments that made the writing alive, and practice them yourself, and think about your life in terms of when you can become published, then you are a writer. But you have to write.

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YEARS FROM NOW some kid will be forced to read my novel or one of my stories or essays in high school, and think the title is boring, and not really read it, and hopefully the enthusiasm of the teacher will carry the day. I’m okay with that, because I’ve been there as a reader and teacher. But if one of my writings made it into the classroom? What an honor. That means that someone was so moved by something that I wrote that they would want to share it with a class. I do that as a teacher and it’s one of my dreams for the future.

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Backyard sledding.

I’m finally at the beginning of where I want to be as a writer…I want to thank la ostra magazine, The Gloucester Clam, BLUNTmoms, the Original Bunker Punks, DAD Bloggers (Oren Miller’s group), and The Good Men Project for allowing me to work and do what I love, so far. I’ve just started.

Here's me with Gatsby.
Here’s me with Gatsby.

…And now for the interview questions from the Original Bunker Punks tour:

Original Bunker Punks: What is your most prized possession?

Me: I have so many…I’m a few steps away from being a hoarder, says my wife. But with a wife and three kids there isn’t one object that holds all the prized possessive power without alienating someone. I have this ratty sweatshirt that is in most of our family pictures, including a few Christmas pictures, and I wear it every night, next to my wife or holding my children, or sitting around the house. So maybe that. I don’t even know where I got it.

Hans cool
In real life I sort of look like Hans from Frozen. Really.

OBP: How do you unwind after a long day? 

Me: Time with the kids, a drink or two, and something on DVR with the missus. Or writing if I stay up past everyone.

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Back from protesting days.

OBP: What is one song that has followed you throughout your whole life?

Me: “Rocket and a Bomb” by Michael Knott. I’ve listened to it and his Aunt Bettys album on a monthly basis since 1996. I have the mix tape “regulars” that span the spectrum, and it’s on every one.

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Hosting “Hey Everybody! Take Care, Have Fun!” …the series was short run.

OBP: If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers in your field, what would it be?

Me: Just focus on the writing. Forget the likes and shares and all that – but it’s easy to get caught up in it. And take your time making it really good. If the writing is no good, then we can see right through it. Decide what you want the blog to be, and stick with it or change it, only based on the purity of your goals. My goal is to write at least a hundred good essays, and then make a career out of writing that I’m proud of away from the blog world (that may not happen the way things are). I have lists of writing goals to keep to and change, and it took me about seven tries to make a blog I liked and kept with. Nerdy Dad Shirt is still an experiment!

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Uncanny or ironic or fitting? Father’s Day, 2014.

Original Bunker Punks: Now that you’re famous, we need a quote from you.

 Me: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” I stole that from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Beardo, grading papers, 2004.

Thank you! Leave a comment if you’re still reading…

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15 thoughts on “About Me and Why I Write

  1. I love the passion you have for your craft as well as the love you have for your family. It would be a dream to teach English and really shape young minds with literary works of art. I fell in love with the classics in my English class, but not my teachers view of them. It was my Mom who opened a whole other world for me when it came to absorbing them. I would entertain her speaking olde English while she spoke with a British accent. Well done on your Bunker assignment and that’s a great t-shirt, my husband has one titled Father of the Year. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read nearly every bunker tour since the first one, which was Jenny’s. This one is on the top ten of my favorites. A writer has to write. As I read that I thought of my own mental hiatus. I told myself to stand back for a while and you know what happened? I am still writing, every day, every moment. I am visiting all my old friends (gently worn, over read books) I am seeing inspiration in everything, because a writer has to write. I am glad you are amongst The Original Bunker Punks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your writing and I know what you mean. I wake up with a story in my head and have no idea but I neeeeeeeed to write it down. Ever since I was very, very young I wanted to write a novel and I still do. Hopefully one day it will come. (I’m an accountant by day so writing kind of balances my life out.) Can’t wait til I get to pick one of your books up off the shelf!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SNM, wow thanks…you’re too kind! Write down those ideas! Fill up the books, and then set them on fire or revise/rewrite and pursue the good stuff (that’s my plan anyway). I’m so glad you’re reading, and look forward to catching up on your site.

    Like

  5. Hey Jeremy, thanks for the recent follow and what a great post! I think of it as ‘I write because I can’t *not* write’. I can go weeks without putting words on paper/screen, and yet I’ll still be thinking up stories and articles in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

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