A Writer’s Life in the Balance

I am a writer.

It took me a while to embrace that label. For the longest time, I was a “sailor.” Writing was a hobby–and not a hobby I engaged in very often.

I started writing in Mrs. Cole’s English classes in high school, completing various writing assignment from time to time. I even took a creative writing class at the U.S. Naval Academy (yes, they actually offered one) sandwiched between weapons systems engineering and naval history. So I got a chance to write some more–again, for a grade.

These structured forays into the world of writing were instructive, but they did little to make me believe I was a writer, amateur or otherwise. But they did keep the pilot light lit.

By the time I finished my first novel, Open Source, I was married with two kids and a dog. Oh, and I was still a sailor. Anyone who’s served in the Navy can tell you the job is full-time and then some. Writing was just a hobby.

But, damn it, I wrote a book! Beginning, middle, and end. One hundred and eight thousand words! I was on my way.

Now, over a year into retirement (from the Navy, anyway), with two more books under my belt, I can confidently say that I am a writer. I even put that as my occupation on my tax return this year. Not because I make a steady stream of income from writing (I don’t…not yet), but because writing is what I do. It’s no longer just a hobby.

This blog is part of that transition from hobbyist to professional writer–“professional” because writing is now my profession. Better Strangers isn’t meant to be an instructional or advice-filled site on how to improve your writing and get published (I’ve only self-published my work thus far–more to come on that), but I want it to give you a glimpse into my own writing journey, from how I got started to how I can balance writing full-time with being a husband and father.

There will be other pieces in between that will hopefully serve two purposes: 1) give readers an idea of who I am as a person and 2) give me an outlet to express my opinions when my kids or the dog have no interest in hearing what I have to say. Be warned, there will likely be humor and sarcasm riddled throughout.

You can read a little more on where I am coming from on the Who is this guy? page of the blogsite. And now that introductions are done, we can move on to the fun stuff!

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