This photo is taken from my parents’ front porch, Sunday morning, last week.
When I was in 6th grade, a Dallas Morning News sports columnist, Kevin Blackistone, came to our school and gave a talk about what his job was like. At that moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write about sports. It was the perfect job, it allowed me to do two of the things that I thought I loved to do. Write. Watch sports. As high school continued I became increasingly aware that I was a horrible writer. I remember my first paper my freshman year and it was covered in red ink. My ego was completely shot and, of course, since I was in a honors class, I really couldn’t believe how poorly I had performed. The idea of me writing for a living was quickly forgotten as my current grasp of English grammar was something not to be desired. As I progressed through high school I was never one who could really figure things out on my own, no one really sat down with me and taught me why my grammar was poor. Teachers simply graded papers and sent them back and I was an average student when it came to English.
When I went off to college I had no idea what I wanted to do. Literally, I was without a major for the first two and one-half years of my college career. This was not including the two weeks that I thought I wanted to major in landscape architecture. That dream was forgotten when I had to build a three foot bridge out of toothpicks, which would have to support a bowling ball. No thanks.
When I transferred to Texas Tech I decided, along with the help of my father, that I wanted to major in English, and teach. I knew that the pay wasn’t very good, but I seemed to have a knack for reading something and recognizing the underlying theme of the book and then writing an essay about it. To me it was very easy, so I would capitalize on one of my three completely useless talents (the other two is washer playing and memorizing professional basketball player’s colleges and heights). To me I was still accomplishing the thing that I really wanted to do, which was write. I quickly learned that teaching was incredibly gratifying, but did not pay the bills. And as many as you well know, I moved onward to law school.
My legal profession was a means to an end, an end that might mean a better life for myself and my wife (although I was not married at the time, this was my thought). I picked up writing again almost a year ago, December 9, 2005 to be completely accurate. This is how I wanted to write. No editor, just write what I feel. Although I have taught grammar, grammar was never my strong suit, and I always felt that my downfall was that the way that I communicated, in a written form was more conversational, and less formal. This was great if I really wanted to discuss how I felt about someone or something, but less advantageous if writing a letter to a client.
September 3rd of this year I started a Texas Tech blog. I noticed that there was a complete lack of information about Texas Tech sports. I thought that there was no reason why couldn’t do this. Recently I joined a sports blogging network called SBNation, and although my website is not up and running quite yet, it is something that I am very excited about doing. The long and short of it, is that this is a network of individuals who are passionate about their teams and they write about them.
This is what I’ve wanted to do since the 6th grade. I’ve never thought about life coming full circle for me, but at this point it certainly feels that way. I guess to be quite frank, I don’t think I’ve lived long enough for my life to come full circle. Anyway, I was inspired, twenty-something years ago and now I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do. The internet has provided an outlet for folks like myself, the opportunity to write and be passionate about something, without having to really pay your dues. I get to write about Texas Tech sports. I don’t have an editor or anyone to censor what I want to write about and that’s a great thing. The name of the site as already been secured and it will be called DoubleTNation. It is not quite finished, but I hope that it’s done sometime before the end of the year. I am not the type of person who is proud about something, never too high, never too low. I think I have realistic expectations about this venture and I don’t think this will ever replace my “means to and end”, but it’s a nice distraction and it is the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do.
2 thoughts on “Finding the Right Moment”
I’m glad that I am not the only person out there who felt inferior by the teacher’s use of the dreaded red pen to correct all of my grammar errors in my otherwise not too shabby essay on some book I loved.
It is both a curse to be consumed with it now. Sometimes when I read my prior posts, I find all of the grammatical errors with what I’ve written. I really wish I had been taught what I had done wrong, but the problem is I don’t know if I would have recognized it. There’s a fine line between having passion about what you write about and being clear enough so that your readers understand you. I think it’s finding that line that is difficult, but it’s also the most important thing too.