We’ll chalk this up to one weird Wednesday afternoon.
I actually found myself engaged in a couple of online discussions with a couple of millennials who are just absolutely certain they walked off their respective campuses with a piece of paper in their hands that certified them as “The All-Knowing, Know-It-Alls Of The Universe.” and have set out to crush any opposition to their claim.
See, here’s the problem with that: They aren’t. Odds are, they never will be either.
In both cases, these two gents decided that their less than a decade of writing has graduated them to Expert Level Status: Grand Master. What they have failed to realize is they are just starting to learn their craft. Trust me, I know.
Because, if you were born in 1984 or after – as these two were – I was already earning my living as a writer. Let that sink in. If you are 33 years old or younger then I have been a professional writer longer than you’ve been alive. There is nothing connected to the field of writing, of any kind or in any setting, that I have not already seen, done and succeeded at.
Or to sum up: I know my shit.
I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and blogs. I’ve covered hard news, politics, business, features, editorials and sports. I have three awards for my journalism career – including a prestigious Best Story Award by the CNPA, a statewide organization that every newspaper in California is a part of and was judged by the top editors in the state. I have also done photo-journalism and worked the pagination desk (got an award there too).
When my physical health dictated my newspaper days were done, I moved on to fiction writing. Five novels, two non-fiction books, two novellas and nine short stories submitted to various anthologies (Five published or accepted so far and the remaining four pending) later that have resulted in several awards and a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist along with a 2017 nomination for a Nebula, I’d say I’m getting the job done here too.
I’m quickly approaching my 54th birthday. As my father always says: “I wasn’t born yesterday and even if I was I haven’t lived all night for nothing.”
I’ve spent more than half of my life honing my craft. So please respect the fact that when I say something about journalism or writing in general – especially if you are under the age of 34 – listen to what I have to say and respond with just two words:
I think I’ve earned it.
Want to see what 33 years of writing gets you? Check out my latest release: The Complete Trilogy of the Jack Del Rio Political-Thriller Series (Reservations, Betrayals & Endgames) here at Amazon.com in either print or Kindle formats: