Ever since reading my first Hemingway novel in high school I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to see the world and write stories that resonate with people. I wanted to capture all the beauty and mystery that lies beyond my bedroom window. My ambition led me to Humber College where I studied journalism and graduated in 2005.
But it’s no secret that the media industry is struggling these days. The internet is the ultimate disrupting force and many media organizations, especially newspapers, still have not rebuilt their business models to remain viable and survive in the Information Age. After graduating I couldn’t find gainful employment in the media, so I ended up working in sales while still writing poetry and fiction on my own time.
Then in 2011 something incredible happened. It was a moment that irrevocably changed the course of my life and I’ll never forget it.
I was in school, again, studying chemical engineering technology at Seneca College. It was my final year and I was severely depressed. The program did not qualify me to become an engineer as I hoped. With only a technology diploma it was most likely that I would end up working as a QC analyst at a pharmaceutical company doing routine lab tests. That was not what I wanted at all. I was miserable and rudderless, wandering lost and looking for answers.
Then I found it. One day in the Seneca College library I was browsing the writing section when I came across a book called The Well Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. I read the cover and the back page, then I started the first chapter and was hooked instantly. It contained everything I needed to know about starting a freelance copywriting business.
I signed it out, and as I hungrily read it cover to cover over the following week I knew I was on an exciting new path of creativity and adventure. As soon as I finished reading it I devised a plan to start my own freelance writing business and live the life I always dreamed of. The book made it clear that it really is possible to make a good living as a writer if you work hard and access the right markets. It doesn’t have to mean being poor as I had always been led to believe.
My first published article appeared in The Grid, a Toronto alt-weekly news and culture magazine. It’s now defunct, but it gave me a place to begin etching my mark in the media and publishing world. Soon after I started writing for The Grid, I started writing entrepreneur features for The National Post, and I also became a contributing writer for Torontoist. Over the course of my career I’ve written for dozens of publications, small businesses, big corporations, and content agencies.
Writing is my way of life, just like I always wanted it to be. I’m not only a consummate journalist and copywriter, I’m also a skilled photographer and published poet. Most recently one of my poems was accepted to Vallum, and a piece from my collection Wild Dogs of Mexico was published in Sulphur, Laurentian University’s literary journal. All of my poetry has to do with exploring and capturing the history and beauty of the world. I plan on taking many more trips and writing many more poems and memoirs inspired by the people and places I encounter.
So, that’s me. Now that you know who I am, the question is, who are you?