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Chris Brewster

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  1. From as early as I can remember, I wanted to play center field for the Mets. Any time anyone asked the typical, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” - whether it was a teacher, or my grandma, or one of my friends - that was always the answer. And yeah, it’s more realistic than John C. Reilly’s doctor father wanting to be a dinosaur in “Step Brothers,” but not by much. I was blessed with enough athletic talent to be good at most sports but not enough to be great at any of them. And what I lacked in talent, I made up for in not being willing to work hard enough to see if it was an attainable goal. I still lack that drive from time to time, unfortunately, which brings me to why this particular question is on my mind today. The dream of being a professional athlete has long since passed, but we all still have things we’d love to spend our time doing if we could. Maybe you love to garden, or bake and decorate, or paint. And you’d like nothing more than to spend your time doing that thing you love and being paid for it. That’s where I’m currently at. I’d love to get paid to write, and I’m taking slow tentative steps in that direction, but I find myself solidly where I’ve spent most of my professional life - doing something I’m good at but not what I prefer or would most enjoy. I saw a great illustration yesterday that is for the moment motivating me to push ahead a little more. It was on a really cool site called socurious and accompanies an article called “How to find your purpose.” Not sure what the rules are about posting links without permission, so Google it … you won’t be sorry. For someone who lacks motivation as a regular state of being, anything that can get me thinking positively is a gift from the universe, and I plan to try and treat it as such. Hopefully, the end result is a better answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?’ than the one I’ve been gjving. *** Shoutout to my talented and incredible wife, who took the same illustration as an opportunity to tell the social media world about her latest venture. I couldn’t be prouder of her for taking such a scary step. Chris Brewster writes from his home in Waverly, New York. You can see more of his writing here. Chris also recently released his first book, A Lab in The Lab, which you can find here.
  2. I love to write. I need to write. But when? First, thanks to everyone who read my first post. I thought it would be fun to throw some thoughts down and see if anyone paid attention, and while it’s not massive numbers - yet - it was more than I expected, so thank you. That leads directly to my latest frustration. I feel strongly that writing is what I’m meant to do when I grow up - I enjoy it, I have an aptitude for it, so why not do something you love and make a living at it, right? I guess it depends on how you define that exactly. When I spent 20 years in newspapers, I certainly made a living at it. I didn’t get rich, but it paid the bills and gave me some money to play with. In every non-newspaper job I’ve had, writing is a major component. The how comes in when considering what “making a living” looks like. I always envision this artistic version where I retreat to my study every day and the creativity flows through my fingers until I end up with a novel, then send it to my agent and publisher, and wait for the royalty checks to pour in. That’s so far from where I am that I can’t even see that world through the most powerful telescope. Does it mean I can’t, or won’t, get there? I don’t think so. It just means adjusting my expectations to what works in my current version of the real world. Opportunities to write, and write for money, are out there for the taking. So why aren’t I taking them? Like all of us, I can whip out a great list of reasons - work, family, a million other distractions real and imaginary … we’ll cover many of these as we journey ahead - but the actual why is that I haven’t made it a priority. We can all find so many other things that keep us from what we want to do, but if it’s important, if it’s a priority, we figure out how to make it happen. And that is one of the purposes behind this thing you’re reading right now. In theory, if I have time to do this a couple times a week, it’s not a long leap to finding daily time to write other stuff. So, subscribe, indulge me these exercises for my brain and forming better habits, and I’ll put you at the top of the list when I mail out my first book! Chris Brewster writes from his home in Waverly, New York. You can see more of his writing here. Chris also recently released his first book, A Lab in The Lab, which you can find here.
  3. And no, it's not about that song. I’ve been writing for decades, professionally and otherwise, but this is the first time I’ve decided to write about myself. That’s because - as every writer learns - you write what you know, and after all these years, I don’t think I know myself at all. I’ve tried a lot of things to introduce myself to myself, and I feel like I’m getting closer. That’s all we can do, right? Meditation is probably the best, but also the scariest because it almost forces you to be alone with your thoughts. That terrifies me because I honestly avoid my thoughts 90% of the time. Another trick that can’t work for everyone is meet, and somehow convince her to marry you, the most amazingly generous and caring human on the planet. Oh, and have her be not only a reiki master but a pet psychic. If you can’t share most of your truth with someone like that, just give up. So, we try. We try to open up and talk about the weird shit in our brains, and the screwed-up things we’ve done in our pasts, and be thankful our audience is a person who judges everything from a place of love and tolerance. That certainly makes it easier to share when there’s stuff you’ve hidden in the corners for decades. We’ll try this as well. Assuming an audience of (mostly) strangers won’t judge as harshly because they don’t know my family. It’s like therapy you not only don’t have to pay for, but will - hopefully - at some point pay you to share your weird shit. In the meantime, let’s have some fun. Let’s share some stories, indulge me in my brain dumps, laugh a little (I hope). Thanks. Chris Brewster writes from his home in Waverly, New York. You can see more of his writing here. Chris also recently released his first book, A Lab in The Lab, which you can find here.
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