Thursday, August 27, 2015

Good excuses for writer's block, and some good excuses to break it...

For the past couple months, my cursor has been on idle, which is a modern way of saying I haven't put pen-to-paper. When my hours at work got cut at the beginning of summer, I made a conscious effort to be at home as little as possible. It's been great to explore new fisheries, methods and species and I'm going to continue to absorb a diverse range of subject matter so I will never run out of things to write about. Sometimes you just have to find a moment to put a few words down and pick up momentum. Then, after a long drought, the words seem to fall into place like rain, producing a rich harvest of inspiration.

Gonzo Journalism
A recent Field and Stream article I read by Bill Heavey titled "Fish Crazy: The Wild Story of an Obsessed Steelheader" featured a story about his adventure with a "true fishing nomad." If you want to enjoy a fantastic narrative that inspired me to leave the safety of my familiar surroundings and venture into unknown territory to fish with people I had only heard legends of, please by all means read it. The two men, one an older bald gentleman and a magazine editor from Maryland, and the other a dreadlocked drifter with 6 boats and no fixed address seem juxtaposed in the experience, but finding common ground through the thrills of angling is really what the story is about.

Finding that common ground in writing has been an experience in itself. In the past year, I quit contributing to the local Alt-Weekly and started covering Conservation, Environment and the Outdoors for Wilhelm Cortez at The Good Men Project. I learned a great deal about how to operate wordpress and submit my work to their online periodical. He allowed me to grow comfortable with covering a lot of material that could potentially stir emotions in regards to wildlife management practices with the challenge of presenting things in a manner that would relate to a broader audience. Then Jeff Holmes of Northwest Sportsman Magazine helped me make my way back into print in what is still today one of my favorite publications. This developed into a few memorable fishing trips and connections that have made my contributions to the magazine all worthwhile. I can't thank these two mentors enough for developing my experience with writing.

Continuing on my expedition, this Fall I'm also going to be contributing for a popular outdoor website called "Wide Open Spaces." I look forward to furthering my learning experiences as an outdoor explorer and continuing to build new relationships with people that share the same passion.