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The Evolution of a Non-Fiction Writer

James Ryan

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

For the past twelve months, my life as a writer has looked as follows:

I spent nine months literally rewriting and formatting every single word (all 74,526 of them) of a book, which was ultimately for someone else’s benefit, and it still hasn’t seen the light of day. And at this point, I’m not sure that it ever will.

I volunteered hundreds of unanticipated hours as a media coordinator for youth football in Ontario, where I developed a new website – not once, but twice. And yet, there are still people within the organization who don’t seem to know who I am, or understand what personal sacrifices I’ve had to make just so I could help them along, and to me, that’s been the most disappointing part of this whole experience.

I also started a new podcast show this year called The Sportstender, which to date, only has eight episodes. It started off strong and I’ve had some really amazing and interesting guests, but as it turns out, talking on the phone is about the furthest thing from actually writing that there is. I still love the overall concept of the show, which ultimately, is to meet new people, learn all about them, and share information, but something’s definitely missing from the equation. So until I figure it out, the show is on hold until further notice.

Admittedly, I haven’t been overly inspired or motivated these past couple of months to stay on my current path, and as much as I try to convince myself that I simply need to stay the course, I also feel like I need to be true to myself and my own dreams – perhaps for the very first time in a long time.

Writing this has been very difficult for me, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not about giving up what I currently have. It’s about moving forward and evolving as an artist. But I can’t do that with my feet stuck in cement and my head buried in the sand.

I didn’t become a writer to get a job. I have a job, and it’s one that I enjoy very much. The reason I decided to become a writer was because I enjoy teaching and sharing information. I love telling funny and interesting stories. I love picking fights with people/organizations when something doesn’t agree with my sense of values. I love standing up for what I believe in and standing up for others. I love meeting new people and learning about varying perspectives on life. But most of all, I like being in control of my own thoughts.

Moving forward, I plan on writing every single day. I just don’t think I can continue to do it for anyone but myself. Maybe then, the fire that was once in my belly, which has since turned to ashes, will return.

Wish me luck.

“Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.” – Louise Brown

James Ryan
James Ryan

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