I am one month in to what will most likely prove to be the biggest adventure of my life. That’s saying quite a lot in itself since I am no longer the country bumpkin who moved to the big city and I’ve already taken my first trip to a country on most people’s blacklist. It’s a big challenge, the kind that makes you nearly timid with fear. But it’s important, the most significant goal I can imagine for myself. By the end of the year, I want to finish my first book.
A little background. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember: silly childhood stories, high school journals chronically puppy love and cat fights. And finally, around the time I started university, fiction. It’s been a passion which has seen me through many trials.
Temple University is a large school in the ghettos of North Philadelphia. Needless to say, moving there from Hippieville, Massachusetts I had a lot to learn, and I don’t mean in a lecture hall. I was reckless most of the time, uninterested in the college scene. I learned a lot, sometimes the hard way.
Throughout the tumultuous years of college, which included perhaps my happiest year followed by my darkest moments, I had my writing. It was something I was proud of, something that I felt set me apart. And so I kept it up, not sure what it meant or what I could possibly do with it.
While writing is my first passion, my second would be travel. Which brings me to an explanation. At the beginning of this post I mentioned I was one month into this adventure. What happened to January? To answer the question briefly, Colombia. I had been living there for over a year, teaching, writing, swimming. It was my third time living long term in a foreign country, an experience which I think is essential to every human being at some point in their life. More on that later. So what happened? I decided it was time to come home.
There is adventure and thrill in living in a completely new and foreign place. It can be addictive. But one of the lessons I cherish most about living abroad is how it makes you appreciate your life at home. Friends, families, and the general comforts of living in a first world country. Besides, I realized it’s the one place where I can live and focus almost exclusively on my writing. Thanks mom and dad.
I have three rules. Write every day. Put my work online. Finish my book by December 31st, 2013. Simple right? Let the games begin.