By David Joel Miller, writer, blogger, and mental health professional.
My writing journey.
I started this blog to separate out the posts I write about my writing career, my fiction books, and my other creative endeavors from my work in mental health. Just to let you know where I’m at now in this writing journey, I’ve been publishing a blog on mental health since 2011. In addition, I have self-published seven books on Amazon, and I have a YouTube channel. Being creative has not been easy, and I wanted to share a little bit with you about where I started, the struggles I’ve had, and where I see myself going in the future.
There’s a difference between scribbling and writing.
The purpose of this blog post is to share a little bit with you about my writing journey. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, and I’m not to my final destination yet. When I mentioned some of my struggles, please don’t think that I am feeling sorry for myself or asking for sympathy. I’m frankly quite happy with all the things I’ve accomplished in my life, and I mentioned my challenges, hoping that that will encourage you to follow your dreams the way I have followed mine.
I have always been an avid reader. As a child, I spent a lot of time alone, but books were always my constant companions. We moved a lot, and I seem to have missed out on some of the things other people say they learned in their early education. In my seventies, I’m still filling in some of those missing pieces.
My very early years are still fuzzy. Not because of any emotional trauma but because of extremely poor eyesight. At age 8, I was prescribed glasses, and suddenly the things the teachers were writing on the blackboard became considerably clearer.
That last sentence reminds me of how much our culture has changed across my lifetime. I fully expect it will continue to change at an ever-increasing pace. So, while I write on the whiteboards at the school where I teach, my memories of childhood are inhabited by boards that were, in fact, black or sometimes dark green.
I struggled academically all the way through high school, and then suddenly, during my first semester at the community college, things changed for me. While it was never diagnosed, I suspect I have more than one learning disability. Spelling remains a mystery to me. I learned to spell phonetically and can spell the same word several different ways in one sentence. Thank goodness for Grammarly, spellcheckers, and other writing programs. Without them, this blog post would be unintelligible.
What is a blog?
My first real exposure to modern creativity came during my graduate program to become a marriage and family therapist. Some of my fellow students were discussing resources and the word “blog” came up in the conversation, and I had to ask one of my fellow students the very simple question, “what is a blog?”
I want you to know that despite my advanced age, I’ve always considered myself an early adopter of new technology. I bought one of the very first fax machines. I almost installed one of those gigantic satellite dishes, but the man who was supposed to be coming to give me a quote couldn’t find the house, and that satellite dish never materialized.
My first computer was a RadioShack TRS-80 model two, with a whopping 64 K of memory. My first experience with a portable phone was one of those large brick phones. Unfortunately, it proved so inconvenient that I gave up on it and delayed getting a cell phone until after I was licensed as a therapist and told that I needed one to stay in communication with the office and my clients.
I have transitioned to a smartphone and have mastered the fine art of answering texts with the help of one of my interns, who was patient in teaching me how to respond to her text messages after I told her to call me.
I tell you all of this by way of background so that you can understand how writing a blog felt like exploring a strange continent, and publishing my first book was my personal equivalent to signing up to ride a rocket to the moon.
That seems like a good place to stop for today. I’ll pick up the story in my next post, and we will see where it goes from there.
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Either way, this old guy would appreciate any encouragement you send my way. And yes, at seventy-four, I am entitled to say, “old guy.”
Staying connected with David Joel Miller.
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.
For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more information about David Joel Miller’s work in mental health, please visit the counselorssoapbox.com website.
For my videos on mental health, substance abuse, and having a happy life, please see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel