"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
--- Bill Cosby
Everybody, no matter what they do, has to start from somewhere. Every good sportswriter has to start writing and developing his or her own voice at some point. This blog is the forum where I plan to develop my own thoughts about different things and my own ways to express them.
I read sports columns everyday. I like to see what people are talking about in sports and I like to know what happens. I can't remember a day in the past several years where I didn't at least play a sport, read something about sports, or have any kind of discussion about sports in general. Baseball, basketball, and football; they are my main interests. That's what is interesting and fun for me to do. Everything I read influences me, but I am a combination of everything that I see, read, and experience. I like to read columns by Bill Simmons, Tom Friend, Chuck Klosterman, DJ Gallo, Gene Wojciechowski, and others on ESPN. I enjoy reading just about every article that Rick Reilly does for Sports Illustrated. I could name countless other sportswriters that I enjoy, but I can never be them. I look at what they write and develop my own opinions of what they think and say. I am my own person, and therefore, my own writer. It's hard to compare myself to them seeing the little amount that I have accomplished so far, but they all had to start somewhere too.
I'm pretty sure that no one else besides Ian reads anything that I write in this blog. After thinking about that for a little while today, that doesn't bother me anymore. There's no doubt that the advice and input from Ian will make me a better writer, and I really appreciate that, but I shouldn't be writing this for other people, and I'm not. I'm writing this blog for myself, to improve my skills and practice for the future. Will I make it to that point for sure? I hope so, but I don't really know where the world of sportswriting will take me. I have to figure that out for myself, and one day I believe I will. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't appreciate more people reading what I've done so far, but of course, that comes with improving my skills and coming up with things for myself. No one can do that for me.
When I was in elementary and middle school, I really had no idea what I wanted to do as far as a future career went. I don't even remember caring what I wanted to be. In high school, I still had no idea what to do. I didn't even know where I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to do when I got there. Is that a bad thing? I didn't think so, and I still don't. To this day I still think it's unfair to try and make young kids choose the direction they want to go in for the rest of their lives. It's hard to make choices though, no matter what age a person is. I think I'm just rambling now though.
Anyway, when I was in high school, I never thought in a million years that I'd be majoring in English. I didn't necessarily hate English, but I didn't like all of the literature and poetry, though I could write a decent amount. I guess that's how I got to where I am today. When I got to college, I had a choice to make. I had to pick a major. I also remember how little my advisor could really help me. It was time for a decision. I liked sports and was good at writing, so naturally, I guess, I took this path. In hindsight, going to Frostburg probably wasn't the smartest choice for my direction in journalism and writing, but now I'm making the most of it.
After looking over the first ten or so entries in this blog, I realized that aside from the entry on intramurals, I never write about myself. I think that's good though because I like to stay focused on the topic at hand and look at it from different perspectives. It might be a better idea for future material to look at things through my eyes and try to combine that with things I've seen or done. It's important to have a good mix of things to write about, and I think I can do that. As long as I work at my craft, what I learn from education in college only goes so far. The rest is on my shoulders. I can read and think for myself, so I can improve.
I hope to one day achieve my goals and find some place where I can do what I enjoy. I don't know where that is yet, but I have to work hard no matter what I do or where I end up.
I do know one thing though. No matter what anyone does, there are others who do the same thing, and it's hard not to compare yourself to what others have done. That's not a bad thing either. But just like I can't be another writer, someone who does a certain job can't be that other person. They can strive to be great, but everyone has to find his or her own place. During my time finding my voice here, I hope that I can do just that and have some fun while doing it. If no one ever reads what I write, that's fine. It's my job to make them want to.