When I arrived in Los Angeles in 2001 I had big plans. So many people that live in this city do. I was going to be a screenwriter. I was going to have my first Oscar nomination by age 25. Over the course of the next three years I wrote four screenplays but nothing came from them.
From the fall of 2004 to the spring of 2005 I struggled a lot with what I wanted to do with my life. I felt that it was pointless to try to get through the gatekeeper system of Hollywood and following the Presidential election of 2004 I found myself wanting to make a difference in the world. So I because a substitute teacher and then a full time teacher. I got my master’s degree. I met the love of my life and moved in with him. Then in December of 2010 a childhood friend asked me if I ever wrote anymore. For roughly six years I didn’t write anything to completion. I realized that something was missing in my life and it was writing.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2011 I began to write my first novel, “All Anyone Could Ask For”. Throughout the year of 2011 I wrote and rediscovered the thrill and agony of the writing process. Now four years later I am taking the steps to self-publish this book. In the meantime I have also written a second book called “Irish Eyes” that is probably one or two drafts away from being ready to self-publish.
I know self-publishing doesn’t mean anything. I can put my book on the kindle and nothing may ever happen from it but it is something. It is moving forward. It is putting my work out into the world. It is living the dream. It is not giving up.
But I can afford to dream. I am a gay man that doesn’t have kids. I can run home from work a couple of days a week and write. I don’t have another human being dependent on me for his or her survival. I have two friends that have been along with me for this journey that will have children by the end of the year. I know that people who have kids can still reach their personal goals but I feel like I’m that last one standing in this war of attrition. For better or worse my friends will have their children to focus their attention on for the rest of their lives. I will have my writing. My writing is my creation. My writing is my child. My writing is what I will leave behind.
It is strange to be here. In a place where you see your friends going down a road you have no interest in going down and being the last one left chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.