I find working with words is a lot like working on a Rubik’s Cube; so many ways to turn and shift each section in the hopes of finding that one magical configuration where it all comes together. I know not everyone has the same outlook on grammar and syntax. I didn’t used to either, not until I delved deep into the hidden adventures of the English language and saw all the surprises that can arise from the seemingly mundane task of filling up a blank page.
It’s not exactly a fairy tale story. I was not the editor of my high school newspaper. I did not major in English Literature or Journalism in college (maybe I should’ve). My parents aren’t tenured professors at a small liberal arts college nor are they established authors.
To be quite honest, I uncovered my love of writing out of loneliness. Don’t worry, this is also not a sob story. When I started college I really missed my friends from high school. I had garnered a pretty strong clique of tried and true partners in crime. After graduation, we dispersed to various educational institutions scattered across the country. Keeping in touch became exceedingly difficult, especially given the hectic schedules college kids have, what with all the studying, reading, drinking, and drug-taking that must be done. We tried to schedule catch-ups, but it didn’t take long until I found the phone to be deeply inadequate. (Sidenote: This was still in the days before cell phones. The first three years of college I relied on land lines and answering machines. How ancient!) All we accomplished were creating never-ending games of phone tag. But emails, those got through. They worked. Throughout college I would commit just as much time writing to my friends as studying for classes. I quickly found out that I’m one of those terribly annoying people who writes long rambling emails that never has a point. Emails started as a means for procrastination but the more I wrote them, the more I enjoyed the process. They turned into extraordinary vessels for carrying my thoughts from my mind to others. I found it much easier to describe my inner feelings through the safety of words rather than voice. Written words can be cultivated. They can be refined. They can be edited until they convey the specific intended aura with crystal clear clarity. I got feedback from my friends that, hell, I write kick ass emails.
It was also during college that I discovered my love of music. As I learned about new bands I felt this urge to share my feelings about them with a larger audience. After graduating I figured that since I was adequate at writing emails and I really wanted to focus on music I decided to try my hand at being a music journalist. Nothing major, just touring with the biggest bands in the world, reveling in their hedonism, and documenting them for tons and tons of money. I called up the music editor at a local Cincinnati paper, asked to write for him, and after turning in a test review I was hired to the City Beat music department. It started with a CD review here and there, but soon I was assigned concert reviews. After that, festival coverage. Soon after that, feature page band interviews. As my word limit and work load increased, so did my love of using writing as a tool for effective communication. Fast forward a few years. I moved to San Francisco have done a lot more writing for a variety of media outlets. I found that while I could find ample work that would provide free concert passes and CDs, getting actual money for work was an entirely different challenge. Writing pro bono, no matter how fun it was, was just not sustainable.
So I got real jobs. I was recently an editor and communications associate for an international development consulting firm. I also co-founded and served as Chief Creative Officer for a new defunct Android game company to have a channel for my love of sci-fi and comic book silliness. I’ve also been taking on freelance jobs editing articles, editing grant applications for friends, editing blog entries, as well as publishing short stories of my own. Since then, I’ve tried to keep busy in my free time as well. Over the years I’ve written one novel, a travel memoir about a bicycle trip my best friend and I took across Southeast Asia as part of an NGO we founded together, and am working on my fifth screenplay.
I live in LA now exploring the screenplay route, but who knows where that will take me. I try not to predict the future too much. Nine times out of ten I’m not even close with what I thought would happen
That said, my voyage has been a very positive thing. It is with this breadth of experience in my pocket, I’m very confident I can help you achieve the experience of your dream – whether a piece of fiction, a press release, a memoir or essay. I not only have a love and knowledge of words, but also for helping people achieve their goals through the malleable, magnificent, majestic magic of words.